Blog Entry

Report: Sale to keep Coyotes in Ariz. almost done

Posted on: February 21, 2012 10:07 am
Edited on: February 21, 2012 11:47 am

By Brian Stubits

Last week there were reports of optimism being up in Phoenix regarding the sale of the Coyotes that has been in the works for about three years. I wondered if perhaps it wasn't a move in response to Seattle's arena announcement.

As the Magic 8-Ball says, sources say no. There was some real substance. And by sources I mean Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal.

The National Hockey League is close to putting the finishing touches on a sale of the Phoenix Coyotes hockey franchise to a group led by former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison. That sale would keep the team playing in the Phoenix market.

The deal still has go through final approvals and due diligence as well as through the city of Glendale which owns Arena. But Jamison, the NHL and Glendale are close to a final deal, according to sources familiar with the hockey team.

The NHL is trying to keep the sale price at $170 million in part to help the value of other franchises. The league bought the Coyotes out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009 for $140 million.

Now we've been to this point in the past regarding the sale of the Coyotes. Remember how close things were with Matthew Hulsizer at one point? However this is the first time for the group led by Jamison who, with due respect to Hulsizer, appears to have his p's and q's covered a little better.

The other interesting aspect of Sunnucks' report is this little tidbit.

The deal being hatched with Jamison could include some rebates and a fund to help cover the team’s financial losses. The Coyotes lose $20 million to $25 million annually.

That would help explain why somebody would be willing to invest in an organization that bleeds money. However it also brings up the concern that derailed the Hulsizer bid, the watchdog group Goldwater Institute. How many concessions can the city of Glendale give while avoiding their threat of a lawsuit?

At this point, fans in the desert will run with any good news they hear. It's getting down to the wire and this appears to be the most promising point in the negotiations in a long, long time. But hold the celebration (or anger if you're one of those who really wants to see the Coyotes moved) and wait for an official announcement. Too often these deals can fall through and we've already seen it in Phoenix.

But this from Scott Burnside of later on Tuesday is a perfect reminder not to count the chickens before they hatch, particularly with the Phoenix situation.

Everybody has to be glad this is winding down, one way or the other. It's been far too long that the Coyotes have been in this state of limbo but the league has proven at every turn to be hellbent on keeping the team in the desert.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Since: Jan 25, 2012
Posted on: February 21, 2012 11:31 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jul 27, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2012 11:28 am

Report: Sale to keep Coyotes in Ariz. almost done

I'm amazed how much has gone into keeping the Coyotes in AZ over the course of the last 3 years. When it came to the Thrashers in Atlanta, the NHL didn't hesitate to let them leave for Winnipeg. That franchise was doomed as long as the Atlanta Spirit owned them. The Coyotes? They'll still be bleeding money no matter who owns them. If they are in Arizona, they are stuck in Glendale with its half empty arena.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2012 11:06 am

Report: Sale to keep Coyotes in Ariz. almost done

Move them to Hartford and bring back the WHALE!!!!

Since: Aug 17, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2012 10:52 am

Report: Sale to keep Coyotes in Ariz. almost done

Correct... They should play half the games at USair arena. At least mid week games. The commute over to the west valley during rush hour is terrible. Only people living on that side of town have no money.... I think a creative solution is in order. The team would work here if it's in the right spot.

Since: Mar 17, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2012 10:44 am

Report: Sale to keep Coyotes in Ariz. almost done

Coyotes will continue to lose money until team moves out of glendale back to a centrally located area closer to Paradise Valley and Scottsdale where the season ticket base and the coyotes practice facility is located. Hockey is a higher income sport and the higher incomes in maricopa are in Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Desert Ridge and Ahwautukee. Not on 99th Ave and Bethany Home!

Since: Mar 17, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2012 10:41 am

Report: Sale to keep Coyotes in Ariz. almost done

Move the team out of Glendale arena and put them back in downtown or build them an arena in Scottsdale and people will show up. Keep it out in Glendale and on game nights on a school night during the week, parents can't drive from Scottsdale or Phoenix or Ahwatukee where the median income is high 45 minutes each way going with traffic to take their kids when they need to be in bed by 9:00pm.

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