Prospective Coyotes owner to operate Arena

The prospective owners of the Phoenix Coyotes are teaming with the firm that owns the Philadelphia Flyers to run Arena.

Glendale City Council to vote on lease agreement

A general view of the Arena on May 15, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The prospective owners of the Phoenix Coyotes are teaming with the firm that owns the Philadelphia Flyers to run Arena.

Now they just need to get a lease agreement for the Glendale arena.

Renaissance Sports & Entertainment, which has an agreement to buy the Coyotes from the NHL, announced Tuesday that it will work with Global Spectrum to help manage Arena.

The announcement came hours before the Glendale City Council was to vote on a 15-year, $225 million lease agreement with RSE.

RSE is led by Canadian businessmen George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc.

The vote will likely determine whether the Coyote stay in Arizona or are relocated, possibly to Seattle or Quebec City.

"For any arena or stadium in a major market to be successful, it needs to have a major league sports team," Comcast-Spectator President Peter Luukko said.

Waiting for a deal

Since reaching an agreement to buy the Coyotes from the NHL last month, RSE has been in sometimes-tense negotiations with the city of Glendale to reach a lease agreement for Arena.

Glendale released a draft of the proposal last week, along with a list of concerns, including the cost of managing the arena — $15 million per year — and an out clause that would allow RSE to move the team if it accumulates $50 million in losses or after five years.

Glendale followed with a counterproposal that would give the city an out clause, a measure RSE called a "non-starter" in the deal.

The partnership with Global Spectrum could be just the vote-swinging move RSE needed.

A subsidiary of international sports and entertainment firm Comcast-Spectator, Philadelphia-based Global Spectrum manages 113 facilities around the world, including the Wells Fargo Center, home of the Flyers. The company also operates University of Phoenix Stadium, the home of the Arizona Cardinals that's on the south end of the Westgate Entertainment District where Arena is located.

RSE has projected $8.5 million to $11 million in revenue to Glendale, which budgeted $6 million to manage Arena.

Bringing in Global Spectrum would likely increase the number of non-hockey event dates at the arena.

"As owner of an NHL franchise and operator of the arena in which that team plays, we are confident that Global Spectrum will do amazing things for us in Glendale," RSE partner Anthony LeBlanc said. "It's difficult to imagine a better partner."

The NHL has operated the Coyotes since former owner Jerry Moyes took the team into bankruptcy in 2009.

After numerous suitors came forward and fell back through the years, including Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie who wanted to move the team to southern Ontario, the franchise appears to finally be headed toward a stable future.

The NHL has given the city of Glendale until this week to decide on the lease agreement and will likely relocate the franchise if the council votes against the deal.