The city council of Glendale, Arizona has approved a reconfigured 20-year, $320 million lease package that could allow former San Jose Sharks executive Greg Jamison to buy the Phoenix Coyotes.
The deal passed by a vote of 4-2 and is conditional on the purchase of the Coyotes being completed by January 31, 2013.
"The affirmative vote by the Glendale City Council is an important step toward the realization of a positive ownership resolution for the Coyotes and their fans," said NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly in a statement. "The National Hockey League looks forward to working with Greg Jamison to complete the sale process as expeditiously as possible."
The package will reportedly pay Jamison approximately $15 million annually to help run the Jobing.com Arena in Glendale.
The vote late on Tuesday night came after a lengthy debate among council members, followed by several passionate public comments both for and against the lease deal.
Jamison was among the speakers who presented his case before Glendale mayor Elaine Scruggs and a six-member council. One council seat is vacant, meaning the vote was among five members and the mayor.
"I believe this deal we have with Mr. Jamison is the best one we'll get," said council member Yvonne Knaack, who voted in favour of the deal. "I don't think he would invest his time and money if he didn't think he would succeed."
Mayor Scruggs, who had once supported the team in Phoenix, has been vocal against a deal in recent months and voted against the deal on Tuesday.
Sources told ESPN.com earlier on Tuesday that the financing for a $170 million purchase of the team is in place. The National Hockey League has owned the franchise since former owner Jerry Moyes took the team into bankruptcy in 2009.