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Coyotes to Stay in Phoenix?

Today in the desert that is Glendale, AZ a group of investors complied with the requests of the city board. Ice Edge Holdings submitted proof of financing to the City of Glendale one day early. The City Council was requiring the group to submit proof of financing ten days after their June 8, 2010 meeting. At that time they had voted unanimously that the group had exclusive  rights to purchase the team should they be able to ‘show them the money’ for both the long term and the short term. The main reason the group had to meet with the council was in regard to the lease with the city. The city has given Ice Edge Holdings 60 days to work out a lease with them before the NHL would need to approve of the offer to purchase the team.

Currently, the group Ice Edge Holdings has met and will continue to meet with NHL officials in New York, NY to discuss its business plan for the team. The group was founded for the specific purpose to purchase the team and is comprised of four business men, two of whom played collegiate hockey at Yale. These four men would be purchasing the team with their own capital as well as their banks’ capital. The way they would earn any revenue back would be through parking and a special tax on the district around the Jobing.com arena. The terms of how to make this profitable so the buyout would be long term and secure is still in process and still requires a substantial amount of work to be done. This leg of the deal, however, is still considered to be one of the quicker parts compared to the battle for exclusivity.

Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf backed out of the running before the council voted to allow Ice Edge Holdings have exclusivity. Before that there was the battle of the NHL, previous owner Jerry Moyes when he drove the team to bankruptcy and planned to sell the team to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie of Blackberry with the plan stipulating thte Coyotes move to Hamilton Ontario. Commissioner Bettman and Balsillie are not now, nor were they then on pleasant terms and the NHL stepped in to purchase the Coyote and run them. Then Gretzky stepped down as GM to free up an additional six million a year that was being used as his salary. As recent as last month during interviews Bettman stated that if no deal could be found the first place the Coyotes could look at moving would be back to Winnipeg as they have not been in the black since they originally relocated back in 1996. The city of Glendale, however, authorized over $25 million dollars to prevent that from happening until they could find a buyer.

With all that has happened in this saga, we expect there to be a few more bumps and bruises along the way, as the lease and proof of financing still have to be reviewed by a judge. For now, it seems the Coyotes are staying in the desert and Bettman will have to find another way to apologize to the good people of Winnipeg for taking away the Jets.

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