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Coyotes blame 'human error' for unpaid arena bills

·2-min read
The Arizona Coyotes are saying unpaid bills were caused by
The Arizona Coyotes are saying unpaid bills were caused by "human error." (Getty)

Everybody makes mistakes, and according to the Arizona Coyotes, falling behind on their bills was just a case of "human error" — one that the team was quick to fix on Thursday.

A report on Wednesday from The Athletic’s Katie Strang made it public that the NHL franchise has until Dec. 20 to pay outstanding arena bills and city taxes, or else they would be kicked out of their home rink.

On Thursday morning, the team released a statement that blamed the unpaid bills on a simple mistake, and said they will give what is owed to the arena and the City of Glendale by the end of the week. Later in the day, the team stated that all bills and tax liabilities had been settled.

“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,” the Coyotes statement read. “Regardless, we deeply regret the inconvenience this has caused. We will make sure that by tomorrow 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.”

Coyotes president and CEO Xavier Gutierrez will need to reach into his deep pockets to come up with the $1.3 million that is reportedly owed, with $250,000 of that going towards municipal taxes alone. It is unclear how egregious the “human error” was, but according to the tax lien notice filed by the Arizona Department of Revenue, there are unpaid tax bills dating back to June 2020.

While they will not be vacating their home arena mid-season – if they are to pay what is owed – the Coyotes will be in search of a new rink after the current campaign is wrapped up, due to the City of Glendale opting out of its joint lease agreement.

The organization already moved from Phoenix to Glendale in 2003, so maybe a return is in the cards or a third Arizona city will be the new home of the NHL’s bottom team in the standings. Things can only go up from here.

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