McGinn confirms contact about NHL’s Coyotes and Seattle

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SEATTLE — The NHL has a plan to move the Phoenix Coyotes to Seattle if an arena leasing agreement isn’t reached by July 2 between the prospective new owners of the team and the city of Glendale, Ariz., the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s Elliotte Friedman and Glenn Healy reported.

mcginnBut Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, while confirming he had been approached about a fallback option to move the team to Seattle, urged hockey fans in the area not to get their hopes up.

“We’re definitely plan B,” McGinn said.

A Canadian group led by George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc wants to buy the Coyotes for $170 million and is trying to negotiate an acceptable lease agreement with the city of Glendale.

During CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada Hotstove segment Saturday night, the CBC’s Friedman and Healy said that if that deal falls apart, the NHL has a plan B: It would sell the Coyotes to Ray Bartoszek and Anthony Larza for $220 million and move the team to Seattle.

They said part of the new ownership group would be former NHLer and current NBC analyst Jeremy Roenick, who would help run the hockey operations department. KeyArena would be a temporary home until Seattle’s new NBA/NHL arena is built, they said.

However, said multiple sources have confirmed that the two sides in Arizona have bridged a $9 million annual gap on an arena lease agreement and the proposal will be presented for review at the Glendale (Ariz.) City Council executive session on Tuesday.

Details of the proposal were not forthcoming, but while the city has only approved $6 million in its budget to manage the arena, it is believed Renaissance Sports and Entertainment, the ownership group headed by  Gosbee andLeBlanc that already has a purchase agreement with the NHL, was able to find multiple Coyotes-related revenue streams for Glendale that will provide the city between $8 million and $11 million annually on a 15-year lease.

Glendale City Councilman Gary Sherwood said the council will review the proposal on Tuesday and possibly suggest some alterations, and then it is expected to be added to the agenda for the City Council meeting on June 25, possibly for a vote.

If the council can’t sift through all of the information it has in time for a vote on June 25, it’s possible the process could be delayed until early July.

The next step, and likely the last major hurdle in the process, is the council vote, which will require four “yes” votes out of seven.

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