This week has been a monumental one in the history of the Phoenix Coyotes. For the first time in more than four years, the future of the Coyotes is certain. This week of celebration was due to the determination, resilience and passion of several groups and individuals.
We would like to thank the National Hockey League for their strong commitment to the franchise and to the State of Arizona. The efforts of Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly to ensure this franchise remained in Arizona were above and beyond anything in recent memory in professional sports.
To the City of Glendale, we thank you for the faith you have entrusted in us to manage Jobing.com Arena, one of the greatest hockey arenas in North America. In particular, we would like to thank Deputy Mayor Yvonne Knaack, Councilmember Manny Martinez, Councilmember Gary Sherwood and Councilmember Sammy Chavira for their support of our Arena Management contract. Without their commitment and belief in our efforts, this transaction would not have been finalized.
To the staff of the Phoenix Coyotes, your hard work and dedication to this franchise has built the solid foundation now in place to allow all of us to do what is important, and that is focus on the future. In particular we would like to thank Mike Nealy, Don Maloney, Dave Tippett and Captain Shane Doan. A team cannot operate effectively without leaders. These four individuals are true leaders.
Most importantly, we would like to thank the fans of the Phoenix Coyotes. To be a sports fan requires an emotional attachment, riding the highs and lows with your heroes on the ice. No fan should ever endure the situation Coyotes fans have been forced to deal with over the past four years. And most fans would not have done so. They would have abandoned the team. You didn’t. You stuck with this franchise and overall fan involvement actually increased during this timeframe. It is a testament to the incredible level of support hockey receives in this community. We thank you for sticking with this team, and we promise you we will do our utmost best to reward your commitment with a competitive team you can be proud to call your own. You have bestowed an honor on us that we do not take lightly.
This week begins not only a new chapter in the history of the Coyotes, it starts a new book. It is time for all of us to write this book together and focus on the only thing that matters, and that is cheering on our Coyotes.
We are truly Here To Stay.