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Council takes big step to keep Coyotes in Arizona

NHL.com @NHL
The Phoenix Coyotes might be finished with the 2010 NHL playoffs, but the team's success continued Tuesday night. The Glendale city council voted 7-0 Tuesday night in favor of guaranteeing the League up to $25 million to keep the Coyotes in Jobing.com Arena for the 2010-2011 season.

"The amount is capped at $25 million to recoup expenses of any operating loss," explained NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, who attended the meeting in Glendale. "A key point here is this is nothing more than an insurance policy in case there is no (sale) of the team this summer. No money changes hands if there is a successful transaction."

Daly said the next few days will be important to "paper and document" Tuesday night's vote and give proper authority to Glendale city manager Ed Beasley. Both Beasley and Daly told the Glendale council that a sale of the Coyotes is expected by the end of June.

Beasley informed the council both Chicago sports franchise owner Jerry Reinsdorf (approved as a buyer by the Glendale council in April) and the Ice Edge Holdings (a group of Canadian and U.S. investors) are still talking to the city about buying the Coyotes.

Daly confirmed both Reinsdorf and Ice Edge remain as potential buyers and, while emphasizing Glendale will look to initially work with these two purchase groups, said it was possible that another buyer wanting to purchase the team and keep it in Glendale might emerge.

The NHL bought the team out of bankruptcy last September, making it known that it intended to find a buyer that would keep the franchise in Arizona. On the ice, the team's stellar regular season (a fourth-place finish in the Western Conference) and a thrilling seven-game playoffs series with defending conference champion Detroit led to a string of sellouts and a well-timed surge of fan support and excitement for the franchise.

"The Coyotes' success absolutely helped (with Tuesday's unanimous vote and the up-to-$25 million guarantee)," Daly said. "The way fans embraced the club and filled up the arena in both the regular season and postseason showed the team is a viable business entity here in Arizona."





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