As Matt discussed, potential new Phoenix Coyotes owner Matt Hulsizer announced his plan to get the Coyotes deal done this weekend. He made a considerable concession, guaranteeing that the City of Glendale would get back at least $75 million of the $100 million it would pay in bonds to keep the team in Glendale.
Hulsizer used a television announcement to explain the plan, but also to beg the Goldwater Institute not to follow through on their planned lawsuit. Their potential lawsuit has the potential to derail the deal, creating what might be the biggest roadblock in a bumpy road to sell this team while also avoiding relocation.
Despite pleas from Hulsizer and the NHL alike, TSN reports that the Goldwater Institute won’t budge. The watchdog group released a statement regarding the situation tonight, which included these remarks.
On Friday, Hulsizer sent a letter to Goldwater promising to guarantee $75 million worth of the funds to the city as a measure of protecting citizens from financial risk. But that failed to move the taxpayer advocacy group of its long-held opposition to the deal.
“The offer recognizes the significant risk to taxpayers under the current deal and to that extent is a positive development,” Goldwater Institute president Darcy Olsen said in a statement. “Regrettably, however, the proposal fails to remedy the core legal violation at issue, leaving the expensive taxpayer gamble intact.”
If you’re wondering how the NHL will react to this possible setback, they seem resolute – publicly at least – to keep on fighting to help the Coyotes remain in Glendale.
But Monday night, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Goldwater’s unwavering position will not dissuade the league from continuing its efforts to close the deal with Hulsizer.
“It doesn’t change our equation,” said Daly. “We have never anticipated that Goldwater would change its position. Our objective has been to try to find a solution with or without Goldwater’s endorsement.”
The clock is ticking regarding whether or not the Coyotes will be able to stay in the Arizona area, even if it’s unclear when the countdown will be over. As always, we’ll keep you updated on the latest events at PHT.