The Arizona Coyotes may have settled an outstanding arena payment of $1.3 million by Thursday morning, December 20th, which may lock them out of their arena, but the team’s financial difficulties are far away. unsolved.
Coyotes Make an official statement In response to The Athletic’s Katie Strang’s preliminary report on Wednesday night, the report detailed the state and city tax owed by the organization and explained that the team had launched an internal investigation into the matter, which appeared to be an “unfortunate result “human error. ”
In an exclusive interview with Hockey News, Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps insisted that although he could not talk about the inner workings of Coyote’s parent company IceArizona Hockey LLC., he still “highly doubted” this reasoning. .
“In Arizona, all taxpayers must pay online,” Phelps explained over the phone.
“So there is a very simple process. You go online, in your account, you enter the number of tax payable, and then there is a huge button with’REMIT PAYMENT’ written on it, which is done every month. So, Every month since June 2020, someone filled out the information and accepted the form, but forgot to submit it with the payment.”
“Can this be human error? Isn’t it impossible? No. Is it possible? I want to say that we are still skeptical, especially considering their past history.”
In their response, the coyotes referred to their statement issued on Wednesday night.
Phelps did confirm that the Coyotes provided two checks to the city’s arena managers on Thursday morning to enable them to understand all the specific arena fees mentioned in the Wednesday report: one to pay for 2020- Season 21 (originally scheduled for June 30 and nearly 6 months overdue), the other covers the game day fees up to the present season.
After the December 20 deadline, the team is no longer in danger of having nowhere to play. In other words, currently.
“I will tell you based on my experience,” Phelps continued. “I have never seen the tax department submit a lien without first sending a large number of notices and phone calls to taxpayers to make them comply with the regulations.”
The troubles of the coyotes don’t stop there.
According to Phelps, the Coyotes did not pay the rent of the Gila River Arena as stipulated in their construction agreement-this was when the City of Glendale informed the team that they would opt out of the joint lease for about five months. A revelation afterwards, in order to engage in other careers.
Regardless of whether the team has paid the rent arrears, the Coyotes must find a new home for next season. So far, they have not done so.
At the NHL general manager meeting in Florida on Thursday night, Commissioner Gary Bettman also weighed the matter, saying that the situation at the Coyote Arena was “no problem”, which allowed him to help install The team will not have a home skating rink in 2022-23.
“Well, I don’t know how he defines’problem’,” Phelps responded to Bateman’s comments.
“What I can say is that I know some people speculate that our whole goal is to create influence for the team so that we can reach a better deal on the lease. This is one of the things that is so challenging to refute. It is not the case. . This has nothing to do with creating influence. We decided to move on and move in a different direction.”
“We are preparing to publicly announce a major renovation of the arena. And we think it has a bright future because the Coyote does not belong to it.”
Although the City of Glendale has been at the forefront of the consequences of Coyotes’ failure to pay, the responsibility for collecting the payments actually lies at the state level. What made New York City publicize this information on Wednesday night, and then the lien notice filed by the Revenue Department, which made the issue a public record issue.
There are clear reasons for this.
“We believe that the responsibility to protect our citizens is important,” Phelps explained.
“This is where the income belongs. Obviously, this is not my money. Looking at it, we feel that we need to get them to pay attention to this matter.”
This goal has certainly been achieved. The story of the coyote in trouble has written another chapter. Moreover, it may not be completed after the events of the past 24 hours.