Coyotes getting arena lease break
The Phoenix Coyotes haven't made their lease payments for several months, according to documents obtained by an Arizona television station.
A record of lease payments by the Coyotes obtained by TV station KPNX and published Tuesday shows the City of Glendale, Ariz., has been supporting the club, letting them play virtually rent-free at Jobing.com Arena for seven months.
Owner Jerrry Moyes has been looking for a buyer or co-investors for the financially struggling club. Moyes said in a statement last week that there have been talks with interested investors.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told Ron MacLean of Hockey Night in Canada at the all-star break that the financially troubled Coyotes were receiving money from the league, but there was no mention of a lease break.
Bettman said the Coyotes were essentially receiving advances on revenue-sharing, marketing and television money the team would be getting at a later date.
The latest report seems to confirm coach Wayne Gretzky's recent contention to HNIC that the city was committed to keeping the Coyotes in town, but it was an unpleasant surprise to some councillors.
"They're using that money for their operating money when it should have been paid to the City of Glendale," said city Coun. Phil Lieberman, who was previously unaware of the city's financial support.
With files from the Associated Press