Glendale mayor wants new Coyotes-related New Year's
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- There's the ball drop in Time's Square and the Boot Drop in Prescott, Ariz.
Now, Glendale's Mayor, Jerry Weiers, wants his city to start its own New Year's Eve tradition centered around hockey: Weiers is proposing that the city drop a giant hockey puck in Westgate City Center at midnight on New Year's Eve.
Weiers was in the minority earlier this month when the Glendale City Council voted 4-3 to approve an arena lease deal for Jobing.com Arena. He believed the city couldn't afford the 15-year, $225 million agreement that keeps the Phoenix Coyotes playing in Glendale.
Once the vote was taken, Weiers immediately made a pledge to the team.
"I'm going to go out of my way and work as hard as I can to make the Coyotes successful," he said. "If the Coyotes are successful, my city is successful."
Now he's pushing to have the Coyotes' New Year's home game turned into a celebration.
"There's a game that night," said Weiers. "It starts at 7 p.m. I expect to have a full house at the arena. The game will end about 10 or 10:30. If I can keep those folks there for another hour-and-a-half or two hours, have them spend their money at Westgate, and have some fun with it, why not?"
Weiers explained what he has in mind for midnight.
"Why not do a 10-foot diameter great big hockey puck with two 40-foot high hockey sticks crossed. The puck drops, and when it hits the bottom, it lights up and says 2014."
He said this is just a theory so far. Weiers didn't say how much it would cost, but said the city would sell sponsorships for the puck drop.
Weiers believes the team is on board with the plan.
"I called Anthony LeBlanc of the Coyotes, and he loved the idea," he said.
LeBlanc is one of the partners in Renaissance Sports and Entertainment, which is taking over ownership of the team.
The National Hockey League has not yet announced the 2013-2014 schedule. A spokesman for the Coyotes said that it appears that the team will have a home game on New Year's Eve, but it is not yet known who the opponent will be.
Weiers is hoping to make the New Year's Eve puck drop an annual tradition in Glendale.
Bob McClay, Reporter