Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

This week the publicity about the Coyotes has been nothing but awful. Slapshot number 1 was the media blitz earlier this week about Andrew Barroway. Barroway was the majority owner of the Coyotes until he sold most of his interest in the team to Alex Meruelo in 2019. Barroway, to this day, remains a minority owner. He was arrested March 23,2023, on domestic violence charges in Colorado after allegedly assaulting his wife. As a result, the National Hockey League has suspended Barroway.

Slapshot number 2 is the Phoenix Business Journal article posted today announcing that Sky Harbor is suing Tempe over the proposed Arizona Coyotes arena project. As was stated in the article, Phoenix has no problem with the commercial aspect of the project – arena, shops, etc. Their objection is to the 2,000 proposed high-rise apartments which they claim is a breach of the 1994 Agreement between Phoenix and Tempe.

The Coyotes’ response ignores the basis of the suit which is the construction of the 2,000 apartments and instead uses smoke and mirrors to focus on Phoenix’s sports/entertainment venues saying if Phoenix can build them close to Sky Harbor, then they should be allowed to build their entertainment venue close to Sky Harbor.  “While it is OK for Phoenix to build a baseball stadium, a basketball arena, and a soccer stadium in the flight path of Sky Harbor Airport, somehow, it’s wrong when Tempe attempts to convert an old polluting landfill into a new sports and entertainment district.”

They deliberately missed the point and are trying to divert attention away from their planned 2,000 apartments. So, it will go to court. It’s doubtful the issue will be decided before the Tempe election on the issue.

However, the intended result of the suit has already occurred by muddying the waters even further for Tempe voters. I suspect many voters will decide why bother with this whole Coyote mess and hopefully, vote ‘no’.

It will also have the effect of further extending the timeline for the proposed construction of the development, should it pass in the Tempe election. Remember, to a developer, time is money.

I also ran into a small, news snippet online stating that a group of NHL owners were unhappy with the Coyotes shenanigans perhaps leading to some new marching orders for Gary Bettman, CEO of the Hockey League. This was before news of Barroway or the Phoenix suit. I wouldn’t be surprised if they decided that they’ve had a belly full of the Coyotes. Bettman has always protected the Coyotes but how much longer will he be able to do so?

Would a third slapshot spell a death knell for the Coyotes? Stick around and watch. Just when you think it can’t get any worse for the Coyotes, it does.

© Joyce Clark, 2023     


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