The book by Interesting Times by English author Terry Prattchet is set in the fictional country Aurient, where one of the greatest curses you can say to a person is "may you live in interesting times." And while the Coyotes may not be located on the Discworld, a flat plane on the backs of four elephants that are in turn on top of a giant turtle Great A’Tuin, they are cursed to live in interesting times.
Case in point, today's news from the City of Glendale that they have elected to not renew the Arizona Coyotes lease beyond the 2021-22 NHL Season.
With an increased focus on larger, more impactful events and uses of the city-owned arena, the city of Glendale has chosen to not renew the operating agreement for the Arizona Coyotes beyond the coming 2021-22 season.— City of Glendale, AZ (@GlendaleAZ) August 19, 2021
What exactly does this mean? Honestly, nobody really knows.
There has been talk of a new arena being built in Tempe, on the corner of Priest and Rio Salado, but the Coyotes haven't even submitted their proposal.
If that goes through the Coyotes could play at a different arena, the Footprint Center or Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum downtown, during the construction. Neither arena would be ideal, but the New York Islanders played in an arena with poor sightlines, and if it is temporary it shouldn't be too much of an issue for fans.
This could also be a negotiating tactic by the City of Glendale, hoping to get more money from the franchise while construction is taking place before they lose their tenant.
Either way, the Coyotes are forced to confront another off-ice drama during their offseason.
UPDATE: The Coyotes have released a statement:
“We are disappointed by today’s unilateral decision by the City of Glendale to break off negotiations on a multi-year lease extension agreement. 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 one hundred 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.”
- Xavier A. Gutierrez, President and CEO, Arizona Coyotes