Glendale looking to renew contract to keep Coyotes Staff

5/6/2011 11:57:03 PM

The City of Glendale wants to reach into its pocket to guarantee at least one more season of NHL hockey in Arizona.

City council is set to vote on a proposal on Tuesday to renew the existing contract with the NHL for another year and cover up to $25 million in potential losses.

"We are going to renew the contract with the NHL and put $25 million aside," said Glendale city councillor Phil Lieberman. "There is already $20 million in our budget and we have to come up with another $5 million. The $20 million will be up for vote and if they use that up then another $5 million. So we will duplicate what we did last year.

"I think it's a good deal that allows us to find a better solution. We do not have a signed contract or agreement with (potential suitor Matthew) Hulsizer," added Lieberman. "I think it may pass 7-0 or 6-1, all of us want to buy more time but I don't know if we will find someone else."

The Goldwater Institute says it has to identify the source of the $25 million commitment by Glendale before it can determine whether to sue the city over this proposal.

Deputy NHL commissioner Bill Daly is hoping Tuesday's vote will help solidity the situation in the desert but remains patient.

"We certainly hope the that Tuesday's City Council meeting will end any speculation on the Coyotes' future in Glendale," said Daly. "Obviously, we want to wait until Tuesday night to determine what's next. One step at a time.

"As we have for the past two-plus years, we have been working very closely with the City of Glendale to do everything possible to ensure the Coyotes' future in Glendale," added Daly. "At the City's request, we have agreed to pursue another one-year interim arrangement while we jointly pursue a long-term ownership solution. We remain confident that one exists, and we intend to continue to pursue it."

Lieberman did not sound optimistic that a deal with Hulsizer can be worked out.

"I don't think we can finance Hulsizer. We voted on this on Dec. 14th, this is five months later," said Lieberman. "I don't think the bonding companies want this deal. I have not been able to dig up financial records on Hulsizer, try to find them."

However, he did bring up a familair name when it comes to prospective buyers for NHL franchises.

"I would be personally interested in seeing if we could do a deal with (Research in Motion president Jim) Balsillie," added Lieberman. "I think the best thing we could do is to get him to buy it and keep it here for 10 years and then I don't give a damn what he does with it."