Glendale's decision on Coyotes was 4 years in the making - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX


Glendale's decision on Coyotes was 4 years in the making

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It appears the Phoenix Coyotes will remain in the Valley for the long haul.

The Glendale City Council voted to accept a reworked deal - a proposed $320 million arena-management agreement - with Coyotes suitor Greg Jamison on Tuesday night.

The process has been going on four years now.

In May 2009, then-owner Jerry Moyes filed for bankruptcy.

The Coyotes were reportedly losing $30 million a year at that point, but his plan to sell the team to a group wanting to move the Coyotes to Canada was blocked by the courts and the NHL.

Instead, the NHL purchased the team in November with the intent to resell it to an investment group that would keep the Coyotes in town.

That did not happen quickly and in May of 2010, a year after the team went bankrupt, the city of Glendale agreed to pay the NHL $25 million to manage the team and the arena.

One month later, two possible buyers pulled out of negotiations, including one led by Chicago sports mogul Jerry Reinsdorf.

The team started winning and in the fall of 2010, Chicago businessman Mathew Hulsizer offered to buy the Coyotes.

That's when the Goldwater Institute threatened to sue, saying the deal put too much of the financial burden on the taxpayers. Hulsizer backed out in June 2011.

Around the same time, a new buyer, the former CEO of the San Jose Sharks, Greg Jamison, stepped forward.

He promised to keep the team in town, but the deal reached last June involves a $324 million taxpayer-funded agreement.

Jamison was ready to move forward but three months ago, the city of Glendale announced it wanted to rework the deal.

Jamison has been negotiating with interim City Manager Horatio Skeete ever since. The City Council on Tuesday night approved that new deal by a 4-2 vote, with Mayor Elaine Scruggs and Councilwoman Norma Alvarez voting against the deal.

Still, Glendale needs to make about $20 million in cuts over the next five years because the city faces a deficit, Skeete said. The first round of cuts won't impact public safety, Rose Lane Pool or libraries, though the city says they will need to be restructured. Public safety cuts could come as early as 2015.

The city will cut $6 million immediately, $3.7 million of which will come by eliminating 67 city positions. The rest will come from reducing operational costs, such as recreation programs

Jamison said he will work with the NHL to secure the team over the next 30 to 60 days.

Stay with for updates on this developing story.

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