Coyotes say they paid all fees amid Glendale's threat to lock them out
The Coyotes said they're all square with the city of Glendale and the state of Arizona.
The club, which owed $1.3 million in state and city taxes, said Thursday it has paid "all bills and tax liabilities," according to PHNX Sports' Craig Morgan.
On Wednesday evening, The Athletic's Katie Strang reported the city of Glendale told the Coyotes it would lock them out of Gila River Arena if they failed to settle up by Dec. 20.
Last Friday, the Arizona Department of Revenue filed a tax lien notice in Maricopa County against IceArizona Hockey LLC - which owns the NHL club - stating the team owed $1.3 million, Strang reported.
Later on Wednesday night, the Coyotes blamed the debt on apparent "human error" and said they're looking into it, according to the Arizona Republic's Jose M. Romero.
"We will make sure that by (Thursday) morning, the Arizona Coyotes are current on all of our bills and owe no state or local taxes whatsoever," the team said in a statement. "And we will take immediate steps to ensure that nothing like this can ever possibly happen again."
If the Coyotes had failed to settle their debt by the deadline, the city had told ASM - the company that manages Gila River Arena - not to let team employees or arena vendors into the facility, according to Strang.
A letter from city manager Kevin Phelps to Gutierrez said the team owed Glendale about $250,000 of that amount, with the rest owed to the state.
The Coyotes owed taxes dating back to June 2020, according to the tax lien notice.
Phelps said he apprised NHL commissioner Gary Bettman of the situation Wednesday.
"It was a fairly short conversation," Phelps said, per Morgan. "I told him I was calling as a courtesy to the league because potentially it would impact teams that are making schedule and flight arrangements. I felt like the league should be made aware as soon as possible."
Phelps said Bettman thanked him and said: "This isn't very good news."
Glendale said in August that it planned to opt out of its lease agreement for Gila River Arena after this season, meaning the Coyotes will need a new building after June 30, 2022.
Two weeks after the city revealed its plans, the team filed a bid for land in nearby Tempe to be the site of a new arena.