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Seattle's KeyArena holding dates open for NHL team

Seattle's KeyArena holding dates open for NHL team
Phoenix Coyotes' Nick Johnson (32) celebrates his game-tying goal as Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) skates by during the third period in an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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SEATTLE - Late-breaking developments are keeping alive the possibility a National Hockey League team now based in Arizona will play in Seattle next fall.

A spokesman for Seattle mayor Mike McGinn has confirmed KeyArena is "holding dates" for NHL games next fall in case the Phoenix Coyotes move to Seattle from Glendale, Ariz.

A KeyArena staffer says the facility will be ready for the team if they need to use it.

If the Coyotes do indeed move to Seattle, their stay at KeyArena would likely be temporary. Plans call for moving the team to Chris Hansen's proposed SODO arena - if the memorandum of agreement can be changed to allow a hockey team to move in there before an NBA team.

Glendale’s city council will vote Tuesday on a deal that would pay Renaissance Sports and Entertainment $15 million to operate Jobing.com Arena, the Phoenix Coyotes' home ice.

Some Glendale city council members say the city can't afford that deal, leaving doubts about whether the lease agreement will be approved.

"Contrary to what might appear in the papers, I don't see this as a 'done deal.' Far from it," acting city manager Dick Bowers said in a letter sent to the city council last week.

Glendale officials also have raised concerns that the city bears all the risk if the projected revenue falls short, though RSE would guarantee $1.2 million if the projections fall short, based on a $1.50 surcharge on each ticket.

In addition, the city is concerned about a clause in the deal that would allow RSE to terminate the contract if its cumulative losses reach $50 million or after five years, while Glendale cannot opt out if revenue projections fall short.
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