Glendale mayor candidate wants Phoenix Coyotes arena deal changed with NHL lockout looming

Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner

Part of NHL negotiations are the state of some financially troubled franchises, including the Coyotes

By Mike Sunnucks

Phoenix Business Journal

A Glendale mayoral candidate wants the city to rework its $300 million, 20-year arena management deal to help Greg Jamison buy the Phoenix Coyotes because a possible lockout could nix games for the next National Hockey League season.

Walt Opaska, a intellectual property attorney running for the open Glendale mayor’s seat, worries the city could be on the hook for a $17 million payment to Jamison even if the 2012-13 season is cut short or canceled by a lockout.

NHL owners and players are trying to work out a new collective bargaining agreement. If they don’t reach a deal by Sept. 15, it could result in owners locking out players. The NHL season starts in October.

Opaska has written current Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs and the City Council that approved the Jamision deal asking them to rework it in case there is a lockout.

“Under the Arena Management Agreement, Glendale will be forced to pay the Jamison Group $17 million dollars this year, even if the Coyotes do not play a single game in the Arena. Glendale should immediately renegotiate the payment terms of this agreement and require the Coyotes to use before Glendale pays Greg Jamison, the prospective owner of the Coyotes, $17 million,” said Opaska.

He is running for mayor against Manny Cruz and Jerry Weiers. Scruggs, who opposed the arena deal, is not seeking reelection.


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