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City of Glendale could pay $197M over 5 years to keep Phoenix Coyotes

Dec 11, 2010, 1:17 PM EDT

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As we mentioned earlier this week, the chances of Matt Hulsizer becoming the new owner of the Phoenix Coyotes is increasingly approaching 100 percent with every new bit of news.

Rebekah Sanders of the Arizona Republic reports that the deal is getting that much closer to fruition, sharing some details regarding the Glendale City Council meeting that took place on Friday. (Beyond the previous bit of information that there would be a vote regarding whether to approve a new lease on Tuesday.)

Sanders reports that the new deal would pay Hulsizer $197 million over the next five years, with $100 million of that money going to him once he buys the team next week. The other $97 million would go to the Coyotes for operating the area arena during non-hockey events, such as concerts, according to Sanders. The city hopes to recoup the money by charging between $5 and $20 for parking (and also selling naming rights for the lots).

Politicians look at the deal in two general ways: as a necessary compromise or a ridiculous concession.

In exchange for the up-front payment, Glendale will take over rights to 5,500 parking spaces in lots surrounding the arena. Use of those lots had previously been controlled by the arena’s tenant, the Coyotes. The city plans to repay the debt by implementing arena-parking fees of $5 to $20 during hockey games, concerts and other events, as well as selling advertising and naming rights on the lots.

Mayor Elaine Scruggs has said the city would suffer if the team left. “What shall we do, lock it up, turn off the lights and then pay the debt on the arena?” she asked this week at a community meeting.

But Councilman Phil Lieberman blasted the deal as “ridiculous” Friday night. He said Glendale cannot afford the terms of the agreement.

A statement issued by Hulsizer’s group said he is “making a strong financial commitment to build a great organization and will work tirelessly to earn the hearts and minds of our fans.”

For more details on the potential deal, click here. It sounds like the Coyotes will stay in Phoenix and continue to play in Glendale … even if it costs the city a great deal.

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