The Arizona Coyotes. What more can you say about the organization that continues to forge-on with hockey in the desert? Well, it may not be able to forge-on much longer. According to a report from The Athletic’s Katie Strang, the Coyotes may be locked out of the Gila River Arena for unpaid state and city taxes. No Really.
NEWS: Coyotes may be locked out of Gila River Arena by City of Glendale for unpaid arena charges and delinquent tax bills https://t.co/4e4r3ejdgn
— Katie Strang (@KatieJStrang) December 9, 2021
And right before the holidays, too.
According to the report, the least-valuable franchise in the NHL according to Forbes, has until December 20 at 5:00 p.m. local time to pay more than $1.3M in unpaid state and city taxes.
From Strang’s report:
The City of Glendale, which has been locked in a lengthy dispute with the Coyotes over delinquent bills, has already notified ASM, the Gila River Arena management company, and Coyotes team president and CEO Xavier Gutierrez of the cancellation of the Coyotes’ business license.
The City of Glendale is owed approximately $250,000 in unpaid city taxes, according to a letter from City Manager Kevin Phelps to Gutierrez, and the remaining amount is owed to the state. The state tax lien notice, obtained via a public records request, asserts that the Coyotes owe taxes dating back to June 2020.
This news follows the report prior to this season that the Coyotes would not be coming back to the City of Glendale following the 2021-22 season.
Arizona has been home to the Coyotes since the 1996-7 season when the Winnipeg Jets, the original Winnipeg Jets, were relocated. Since then, the Coyotes have called Phoenix and Glendale home at different times in the franchise’s history. They were recently sold to Alex Meruelo in July of 2019, but rumors swirled just in the past week that the team was yet again up for sale, but those reports were refuted by the NHL.
I have to give the Coyotes credit: They work really hard to get media reporting on the glorious palace they want to build in Tempe, while at the same time being one missed payment away from playing their next game on roller blades in a vacant lot.
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) December 9, 2021
The Coyotes are set to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning at home on December 23, but unless the club pays their taxes and debts, that game may actually need to be played in the Gila River Arena parking lot.