Coyotes Made All Payments on Bills, Tax Liabilities to Avoid Arena Lockout

Erin WalshDecember 9, 2021

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 03: Phil Kessel #81 of the Arizona Coyotes looks to pass the puck to Clayton Keller #9 against the Vegas Golden Knights at Gila River Arena on December 03, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

The Arizona Coyotes have paid off their outstanding tax bills and unpaid arena charges and will not be evicted from Gila River Arena, the franchise told Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports. 

ESPN's Kristen Shilton reported Wednesday the city of Glendale informed the Coyotes they would be locked out of their home rink unless they paid their state and city taxes, which totaled more than $1.3 million.

According to the tax lien notice filed by the Arizona Department of Revenue, the Coyotes had unpaid tax bills dating back to June 2020. The franchise called the incident an "unfortunate human error" in a statement made Wednesday: 

"We have already launched an investigation to determine how this could have happened and initial indications are that it appears to be the result of an unfortunate human error. Regardless, we deeply regret the inconvenience this has caused.
"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. And we will take immediate steps to ensure that nothing like this can ever possibly happen again."

Even though the Coyotes have paid their taxes, the franchise will be in search of a new arena after the 2021-22 season because the City of Glendale opted out of its joint lease agreement. The termination notice came after months of rocky negotiations between the two sides on an extension. 

The Coyotes have proposed to build a new 16,000-seat rink in Tempe, Arizona. The $1.7 billion proposal includes space for hotels, apartments, a theater, and shopping and dining areas. 

The Coyotes began playing at the America West Arena in downtown Phoenix in 1996 before moving to Glendale's Gila River Arena in 2003. 

The team is last in the Central Division with a 5-18-2 record.