New Coyotes, arena deal up for vote Tuesday; NHL lockout continues

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland Arena By Catherine Holland Arena By Catherine Holland

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The three-year-old "will they stay or will they go" battle over the future of the Phoenix Coyotes could be hours away from a resolution.

The Glendale City Council is set to vote once again on a deal mean to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Arizona and playing at Arena.

The new $308 million, 20-year arena deal will move along the sale of the hockey team to Greg Jamison, former CEO of the San Jose Sharks, and his investment team. The National Hockey League has owned the Coyotes since 2009 when it bought the team out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Jamison and his team are still working to finalize a purchase arrangement with the NHL.

Fearing they could end up right back where they started on the issue, several council members want to get the vote completed and the deal in the pipeline before new council members and Glendale's new mayor, Republican Jerry Weiers, take office in January.

Weiers has been outspoken on the Coyotes issue, saying Glendale should not spend city money to help finance the team.

"We all love the Coyotes and Cactus League but we cannot sacrifice our way of life so they can maintain theirs," he told an Arizona newspaper after winning the election earlier this month.

The deal on the table Tuesday evening has progressed further than any previous proposal.

If approved, Jamison's investment group will take over running Arena, something the city of Glendale has been doing. In addition, they will be required to bring at least 30 non-hockey events to Arena each year.

The City Council vote, which is expected to happen Tuesday evening, comes amidst an ongoing lockout that could cancel the entire 2012-2013 season. Nearly three months have been lost already.

Three mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service have been assigned to assist with negotiations between the players and management. Those mediators are slated to meet with both sides -- separately -- on Wednesday.

The NHL has canceled games through Dec. 14, the New Year's Day Winter Classic and the lucrative All-Star weekend, which was supposed to happen Jan. 26-27 in Columbus, Ohio.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.