The Arizona Coyotes will be looking for a new home.
The city of Glendale has chosen not to renew the operating agreement with the team beyond the 2021-22 season, the city announced on Twitter Thursday. The city has informed the National Hockey League that this upcoming season will be the Coyotes' last at the Gila River Arena.
"With an increased focus on larger, more impactful events and uses of the city-owned arena, the city of Glendale has chosen to not renew the operating agreement for the Arizona Coyotes beyond the coming 2021-22 season," the Glendale Twitter account tweeted. "The City has informed the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Arizona Coyotes that the upcoming season will be the team’s last in Gila River Arena. The parties have been operating under a year-to-year agreement for several years."
The Coyotes have played at the arena since the 2003 season.
"We are thankful to the NHL and the Arizona Coyotes for being part of the Glendale community for the past 18 years. The decision not to renew the operating agreement with the Coyotes was not made overnight or in a vacuum," Kevin Phelps, Glendale City Manager, said in a statement. "We carefully weighed input from key stakeholders, our expert economist, our arena management firm, and city council."
The Coyotes released a statement later on Thursday saying they are "disappointed" and hoped the city would reconsider.
“We are disappointed by today’s unilateral decision by the City of Glendale to break off negotiations on a multi-year lease extension agreement. We are hopeful that they will reconsider a move that would primarily damage the small businesses and hard-working citizens of Glendale. We remain open to restarting good-faith negotiations with the City," read a statement by the Coyotes.
“Most importantly, the Coyotes are one hundred percent committed to finding a long-term arena solution here in Arizona, and nothing will shake our determination to do what is right for our organization, residents of the entire Valley and, most important, our fans.”
The 2021-22 NHL season is set to begin on October 12.