Glendale council to transfer arena operations?

Posted at 6:27 AM, Apr 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-13 13:30:50-04

Will the Arizona Coyotes leave Glendale?

It's a question fans have been asking for a while. A vote by the Glendale City Council could give some insight into the team's future at Gila River Arena.

The council is expected to discuss possibly handing over the arena operation responsibilities to AEG, a Los Angeles-based company. 

As of now, the Coyotes have an agreement to operate the facility. If the council approves AEG, it could take over operations as early as July.

On Monday, Anthony LeBlanc, the team's CEO, said at a press conference that an announcement regarding the team's future home would be released "within the next couple weeks."

The Coyotes' current arena lease is set to expire after the 2016-17 season.

The team is reportedly looking at possibly building and sharing an arena with the Phoenix Suns in Phoenix, ASU's hockey team in Tempe or in Scottsdale on land owned by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Related: Shane Doan says sharing arena with ASU would be "pretty amazing"

Reports say a new arena would take about three years to complete. That's why LeBlanc wants plans for a new arena finalized as soon as possible.

"It's a lot of work. It's a lot of time. Just an announcement is one thing; it's probably another 9 to 12 months before shovels are actually in the ground. We want this to happen in a shorter timeframe than a longer one," he said.

At that same press conference, it was also announced that Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney had been let go.

"We believe a change in leadership is needed in order to move our franchise to the next level," LeBlanc said, adding "it is fair to say there has been a difference in philosophy" as far as how to move the team forward.