Judge puts hold on Arizona city's effort to evict NHL's Coyotes

Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:40pm EDT
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By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - A county judge put a temporary hold on Friday on an Arizona city's effort to end its lease agreement with the National Hockey League's Arizona Coyotes to play at its city-owned arena, court officials said.

Judge Dawn Bergin granted a request made by the team in Maricopa County Superior Court for a temporary restraining order to block the decision made by the Glendale City Council this week.

Coyotes officials went to court earlier on Friday seeking the order, arguing in a statement that it was needed "to defend their rights and reaffirm their continuing commitment to their great fans."

The team said in the statement that the legal action was needed to “stop the City of Glendale's baseless attack on, and improper attempt to void, the Coyotes' lawful and proper lease.”

On Wednesday, the council voted 5-2 to terminate the team’s lease at the Gila River Arena, citing a law that bars city employees from being a part of contract negotiations and later working for the other side. No specific individual was cited.

“We can’t and won’t support a contract that favored the sports team over the interests of Glendale citizens,” Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers said in a statement, adding that efforts to renegotiate the pact were rejected by the team.

Meanwhile, the city said it would hold a closed-door executive session on Tuesday following a possible breakthrough in the dispute.

“An opportunity for the two of us to discuss the issues has presented itself, and I am optimistic that with continued dialogue we can come to an agreement that satisfies both parties,” Weiers said.   Continued...

Mar 5, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; The Arizona Coyotes celebrate after the shootout against the Vancouver Canucks at Gila River Arena. The Coyotes won 3-2 in a shootout Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports - RTR4S9KV