GLENDALE -- The Glendale City Council voted unanimously on Friday morning to rescind its decision on June 10 to cancel an arena management contract with the Coyotes, and also voted unanimously to enact an amended deal with the team that is valid until June 30, 2017.
"I'm relieved," Coyotes Co-Owner, President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said. "It's good to get this behind us and focus on what's important to us, which is the hockey team. I understand people having concern because the two-year timeline is a bit of a surprise to many people, including us. It certainly wasn't our desire... But a two-year deal is better than no deal... We know where we're playing for the next two years."
LeBlanc said he hopes the team and the city can quickly negotiate a much longer agreement.
"I would like to see us structure something with Glendale on an extended basis sometime over this next year," LeBlanc said.
Both entities would like the communication between the team and the city to improve. At Friday's council meeting, LeBlanc suggested formal meetings between the two sides on a quarterly basis and informal lunch meetings if needed.
Near the conclusion of Friday's meeting, the two entities pledged publicly to work to repair the relationship that was damaged on June 10 when the city voted to void the original 15-year arena management contract.
"I don't think it was lip service today," LeBlanc said. "There was a different vibe in the (council) room and there was a different vibe just in conversations. I think things are going to move in the right direction."
He added, "I have a message to those who are speculating on our plans: We did not agree to a two-year agreement so we could relocate in the future. The simple truth is, if we wanted to leave we had the out to do so this summer. We didn't take it. We fought as hard as we needed to because we believe in this market. We have never changed our opinion on that simple fact. Anyone who says otherwise has no idea what he or she is talking about."
NOTE: Click HERE to watch Friday's City Council meeting.