Glendale vs. Coyotes: City leaders meet in executive session

Business owners were invited to what they describe as an emergency meting for the tenants called by Westgate. Cameras weren't allowed inside, but FOX 10's Anita Roman did get some inside information from people who attended. 6/12/15

The National Hockey League season ended Monday, but in the valley things are heating up on the ice.

The City of Glendale is refusing to back down in their fight with the Arizona Coyotes.

City leaders met in an executive session, deciding if they will press forward with plans to cancel the team's lease agreement, unless the team wants to renegotiate, but that doesn't seem likely to happen.

The fate of the Coyotes in Glendale is still up in the air. City officials met behind closed doors Tuesday, and they're not discussing what was said. It does appear the city is moving forward with the legal battle to terminate its contract with the Coyotes.

"This is not about hockey, we want the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale," said Assistant City Manager Tom Duensing.

But the city doesn't want to keep the current 15-year, 225 million dollar deal it made with the Coyotes, and are poised to cancel it, citing conflict of interest laws.

"This issue is about the law, and the process, and we need to ensure that the law was followed... we continue to believe in the strength of our case, and those facts will come out," said Duensing.

The city also said they would like to go back to the table with the Coyotes.

"We're willing to negotiate a mutual agreement where everybody is a winner," he said.

The Coyotes say they want to keep the current deal, and hope the City of Glendale will continue to honor it. On Tuesday the team released its pre-season schedule, which includes one home game at the Gila River Arena in October.

At the moment the city must honor the current contract since the Coyotes won a temporary restraining order. It appears Coyotes fans and the public will only find out the details of the battle as it winds through the court system.

Both Glendale and the Coyotes are back in court on June 29.


Statement following Glendale City Council executive session:

The Glendale City Council held an Executive Session meeting this afternoon to discuss the city's management agreement with the Arizona Coyotes. Following the meeting, Glendale Interim Assistant City Manager Tom Duensing said,"Let's be clear. This isn't about hockey. We want the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale and we want to see them succeed. As we've consistently indicated to the team, we are prepared to negotiate a mutually beneficial approach to address concerns."

Duensing went on to say "This issue is about the law and the process to ensure the law is followed. We have an obligation to the law and to the citizens first. We continue to believe in the strength of our case which is rooted in facts. Over time, those facts will come out. But they'll only come out in the appropriate venue, and that's a court of law."

"Please know, we have not and will not litigate this case in the media," Duensing said.

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