Arizona Coyotes could be locked out of arena for unpaid charges, late taxes

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Coyotes of the National Hockey League are facing the possibility of being locked out of their home arena.

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The city of Glendale, in a letter sent to team officials on Wednesday, said it intends to lock the Coyotes out of Gila River Arena on Dec. 20 if all delinquent tax bills and unpaid arena charges are not paid by then, The Arizona Republic reported.

The letter was sent by Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps to Coyotes President and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez, the newspaper reported. The letter details the amounts the team owes the city and ASM Global, which manages the arena for the city. Phelps said in the letter that there is also an unpaid balance from the 2020-2021 season due to ASM Global.

The total amount owed is $1.3 million, including $250,000 to the city, according to The Athletic. The rest of that balance is owed directly to the state, ESPN reported.

A state tax lien notice, obtained via a public records request, asserts that the Coyotes owe taxes dating to June 2020, according to The Athletic.

The Coyotes’ last home game before that date is Dec. 15, and they are scheduled to face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Dec. 23, according to the Republic.

Phelps confirmed the financial situation and the letter to the Republic on Wednesday evening.

City officials told the Coyotes in August that it intended to end negotiations on a new lease agreement at Gila River Arena, the newspaper reported. The team will vacate the arena after the 2021-22 season.

“We’ve reached that point of no return,” Phelps told The Athletic in August. “There’s no wavering.”

The team is planning to move into an arena in Tempe, according to the Republic.

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