Coyotes win as Glendale Council pledges more money

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CHICAGO -- With Monday night's win against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Phoenix Coyotes made history by advancing further into the playoffs.   While the team is winning games, it continues to lose money season by season.

According to sources in the NHL and the City of Glendale, former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison is in the final stages of securing the funding needed to buy the Coyotes. He would keep the team playing at the city-owned Arena in Glendale.

In a deal reached in 2009, the City of Glendale pledged to cover the Coyotes' operating expenses for the NHL.   In turn, the NHL agreed to keep the team playing in Glendale while it searched for an owner.

Expecting a quick sale, Glendale officials never thought the city would have to pay anything to keep the Coyotes.  Years later, negotiations and deals have fallen through.  The city paid $25 million to the NHL last season.  Another $25 million is due at the end of this season.   

Monday, during an eight-hour budget session, the Glendale City Council voted to budget another payout for next season.   

During the same meeting, the Council also voted to raise property taxes and the sales tax.  Council members said the Coyotes fund is not directly related to the tax hike, but another city official called it a "contributing factor."

Councilwoman Yvonne Knaack explained her 'yes' vote.

"We own that arena," she said. "We have the debt regardless of the Coyotes. The best case scenarios is the Coyotes stay here to play the games and bring 500,000 people to the arena."

Knaack added that she is "most definitely" confident in the Jamison deal.

Councilmember Norma Alvarez was a 'no' vote on continued Coyotes funding, calling it too much of a risk.

"Sometimes we have to admit we've made a mistake. We haven't gotten much money from the Coyotes," Alvarez said after the meeting.

Knaack and the others voting 'yes' say while they budgeted for another potential payout to cover next season's Coyotes' financial losses, they do not expect to have to pay.