The Phoenix Coyotes will remain in Arizona after the Glendale City Council voted 4-3 to approve a lease agreement with the prospective buyers of the NHL franchise. (AP file)

Coyotes to stay in Arizona; Seattle NHL hopes dashed

The hopes for a National Hockey League team moving to Seattle were dashed late Tuesday evening, as the Glendale, Ariz. City Council voted 4-3 to approve an agreement that will keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Arizona.

The contentious decision paves the way for the investment group Renaissance Sports and Entertainment to buy the financially troubled franchise from the NHL and lease city-owned Arena in a deal that will pay the new owners $15 million per year.

Critics including the mayor and city manager argued the city would have to cut vital services including fire fighting to cover the costs of the agreement. The city had previously budgeted just $6 million annually.

The lease agreement also includes a controversial "out-clause" that allows the owners to move the money-losing franchise if losses total $50 million or more in the next five years.

NHL officials had said Seattle was a viable market for relocation if the lease agreement wasn't approved by a league-mandated Tuesday deadline. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn had confirmed previously the city had undertaken talks with the NHL about the Coyotes. Just last week NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daley had stated the league was comfortable with the NHL playing in KeyArena until a new arena could be build in Seattle.

The vote by the Glendale Council is the second disappointment for Seattle sports fans in recent months. It follows the NBA's decision to block the proposed sale of the Sacramento Kings to investor Chris Hansen, who tried for over two years to finalize a deal to buy the team and move them to Seattle. Hansen has said he remains committed to bringing the NBA back to Seattle in the coming years.

Josh Kerns,
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for
Top Stories

  • Trial Beginning
    Twelve Seattle police officers will begin using new body-worn cameras next week

  • Week in Photos
    Penguins, cheetahs and Santa make it in this week's photos
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.