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Arizona Coyotes to Sneak in Through Arena Loading Docks for Remaining Home Games
GLENDALE, AZ – The Arizona Coyotes may have caught up with their bills, but the team plans to sneak in through the Gila River Arena’s loading docks for the remaining 2021-22 home games, End of the Bench has learned.
“We found a key under the mat near the loading dock entrance,” Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo said. “The arena staff wasn’t impressed that we took so long to pay up, so we’re laying low ‘til this all blows over.”
Reports surfaced in early December that the team owed $1.3 million in unpaid bills and taxes to the city of Glendale, where the team plays at the Gila River Arena. If the team did not pay its debts by December 20th, Coyotes staff would be locked out of the arena.
A statement from the team claimed the unpaid bills were due to an “unfortunate human error.”
“I swear I slipped an envelope under the front door of City Hall,” Meruelo said. “Maybe the cleaning staff vacuumed it up. I don’t know. But I did send that money.”
At the most recent NHL Board of Governors meeting, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman verified payments have been made, claiming the outstanding debt was a “miscommunication” between the city of Glendale and the Coyotes.
“You’d think the NHL would finally move the team from Arizona after 25 years of this experiment. But Gary has a soft spot for us as we have operated this team in perpetual limbo.” Meruelo said.
The Winnipeg Jets relocated to Phoenix in 1996, and hockey never quite took off in the Grand Canyon State. The Coyotes declared bankruptcy in 2009, with the NHL operating the team until it was sold in 2013.
The NHL has no plans to move the team from the Greater Phoenix area, as a new arena has been proposed in Tempe, Arizona.
“I’m not sure how we’ll pay our next bills, but if we sneak our team, the other team, coaches, and staff through the back of the arena until this new arena is built, this should pan out. Tempe or bust, baby!” Meruelo said.
The Coyotes are currently in last place in the NHL with only five wins.
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