In case anyone was as confused as I was about the basic situation in Phoenix and what was on the table, here's what I found out: Glendale's city council needed to vote on whether or not they wanted to pay to operate the Coyotes organization until someone bought the team and took over the financial burden. The cost of that was going to be about $11 million. It was expected, according to the NHL, that a deal would be made by June 30th. This would negate Glendale's financial responsibility entirely, leaving them not paying a dime. However, if a buyer was not secured by June 30th, Glendale would have to begin footing the bill from that point on.
I spent the better part of the Chicago-Vancouver game on mute with the Glendale City Council meeting streaming online. It was actually pretty interesting. Two or three reps from the NHL were present to answer questions. There was a lot of rhetoric, of course, but between all of that, I got some details about what is going on in this crazy situation. Did I really get clear answers? Of course not. It is Bettman's NHL of course. But at least we now know where Glendale stands on the issue: they unanimously voted to keep them in Arizona.
The funding for this fiasco, allegedly, would NOT come from taxes but instead "surcharges" for various things that went pretty much unidentified during the meeting. Supposedly they were previously listed in some memo or something, but I got the impression it was pretty vague. A council member, who was pretty annoying and pompous, made a great point (surprisingly): even if you don't call it a tax, the residents pay for it one way or another. However, it was made very clear that the people had a choice about whether they would pay it or not by where they lived. My guess is this "surcharge" will only occur within the city limits of Glendale. Don't want to pay it? Don't shop/dine in Glendale. How ridiculous is the idea that it's a choice when people purchased homes there already? What, are they supposed to drive ten miles to go out to eat or whatever? I've no idea if that's the deal, but it seemed kinda dicey to me.
Regardless, they said there were two buyers in negotiations with the NHL. I would assume it's still Chicago's Jerry Reinsdorf and Ice Edge Holdings. There was no mention of the current situation of Ice Edge; in fact, they were very adamant about keeping quiet about that, saying they will not discuss the blow-by-blows of the business dealings.
Where do things go from here? Only time will tell.
Quotes from the meeting:
"To not do this, it would be a big step backwards."
"A lot of the misinformation, I believe, was spread by our good neighbors from the north."
"The city of Glendale is serious about keeping the team in Glendale."
"It's good for the team; it's good for the city."
"Despite the suggestions in the emails I receive that I'm engaging in creative body positions, I am thinking of what's best for this city."
"That's a big tax revenue source for the city....it would not be good for the city if they went away."
"I want to congratulate the Coyotes on a fabulous playoff series...I wasn't a huge hockey fan, but after the playoffs, I am a huge fan now. How can you not be?"
"During the playoffs, when I opened the paper, top of the fold I saw, The Suns lost. The bottom of the fold, in a tiny section, The Coyotes win. We're going to change that."