Coyotes clear debts but future in Glendale looks bleak

Arizona Coyotes claim to have now cleared debts that led to them being threatened with expulsion from their Gila River Arena home.

City of Glendale officials told the Coyotes to pay up money owed in back taxes and to venue operator ASM Global or risk being barred on December 20.

The Coyotes claimed human error was the reason for the debt and vowed to clear the debt in hours.

Coyotes spokesperson Rich Nairn told The Arizona Republic on Thursday morning that the team has paid up. “The Coyotes are current on all bills and tax liabilities,” he added.

City and state officials and ASM Global have not confirmed that they have received payment from the team.

The Coyote’s future in Glendale looks bleak with local officials questioning whether they can meet their existing and future financial obligations. The team is likely to leave Glendale at the end of this season, and has outlined plans for a new arena.

Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps told The Republic. “The city continues to have concerns as to whether this organization is able to meet its current and future obligations to the taxpayers of Glendale.

“While the taxes may be paid this morning, before we continue the relationship for the remaining part of the year with the Arizona Coyotes and the NHL, we need to have assurance that … our taxpayers are not holding the bag for charges come June 30.”

In September, the Coyotes revealed plans for a $1.7bn (£1.2bn/€1.4bn) development in the city of Tempe, with the wide-ranging project to be anchored by an arena that would seat around 16,000 fans.

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