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Phoenix Coyotes new ownership approved, team staying in Arizona

After much rumor and speculation that the Phoenix Coyotes would move to Seattle if the vote on a new lease with new ownership didn’t pass, the deal ended up passing.  Late on Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning, the Glendale City council voted on an arena deal and approved new ownership that would keep the team in the city.  The lease will be for five years and passed with a 4-3 vote.

According to CBC:

Under the deal, Glendale, a Phoenix suburb, will pay Renaissance Sports and Entertainment $15 million US per year over 15 years to run Jobing.com Arena.

In exchange, RSE will turn over several revenue streams (parking fees and ticket surcharges, for example) that it believes will cover the city’s costs. (Nashville’s arena lease is based on a similar model.) RSE did keep its own “out clause,” which can be activated in five years, but agreed to cover up to $6 million in annual losses if that escape route is ever activated.

As part of the agreement, the team will now be called the Arizona Coyotes, dropping the Phoenix name it carried since the franchise moved from Winnipeg in 1996.

It’s great for the team’s employees to not have to move, but it is a very risky decision by the city of Glendale, who will have to make serious budget changes in order to keep the team.

[CBC] [Video via: Fox Sports Arizona]

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