The Arizona Coyotes will remain in the Phoenix area, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday after the city of Glendale announced it would not renew its operating agreement with the team at Gila River Arena following this season.
"I'm not worried about the Coyotes." Commissioner Bettman said on WFAN 660 AM in New York. "I think their future stays in the greater Phoenix area."
As part of a year-by-year lease agreement between the Coyotes and Glendale, either party was able to decide not to renew for an additional year by providing written notice each year on or before Dec. 31.
"We are disappointed by today's unilateral decision by the City of Glendale to break off negotiations on a multi-year lease extension agreement," Coyotes president and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez said. "We are hopeful that they will reconsider a move that would primarily damage the small businesses and hard-working citizens of Glendale. We remain open to restarting good-faith negotiations with the City.
"Most importantly, the Coyotes are 100 percent committed to finding a long-term arena solution here in Arizona, and nothing will shake our determination to do what is right for our organization, residents of the entire Valley and, most important, our fans."