After months of haggling with the city of Glendale and the Goldwater Institute in attempts to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes, Matthew Hulsizer has finally moved onto a new potential franchise. David Shoalts of The Globe and Mail in Toronto is reporting Hulsizer is taking a “serious look” at the St. Louis Blues. The Blues have been looking for investors for nearly two years. In May, Dave Checketts announced the team was officially on the market.
There’s a team on the market. It’s pretty well established that Hulsizer’s in the market for a team as well. So what took these two so long to find one another? Here are the specifics from Shoalts’ article:
“A source familiar with the Blues situation said Hulsizer is discussing a price in the range of $165-million to $170-million (all currency U.S.) with Checketts. The Blues chairman said earlier this week he was given an extension on a $120-million loan with Citigroup Inc., that would give him more time to sell the team.”
It’s important to note the differences between this situation and the failed deal in Phoenix, Glendale. In Phoenix, Hulsizer was working towards an arrangement where taxpayers would pay him for operating Jobing.com Arena (which is owned by the city of Glendale). In essence, the city was subsidizing Hulsizer for buying the team.
He’s not going to get the same sweetheart deal in St. Louis. There will be substantially less bureaucratic red tape to deal with—but the trade off is that he’ll have to pay much more money out of pocket for the honor of owning an NHL team. At least we know the NHL would approve Hulsizer in the event of a future purchase.
This is only the first step for Hulsizer—he’s interested. Next, he and Dave Checketts will have to work towards a financial deal that makes sense for both sides. If they can do that, then they’ll get to start the actual sales process. The good news is that the Blues have finally found someone who is interested and has deep enough pockets to make the deal happen.
Hopefully their isn’t a Goldwater Institute satellite office in Missouri.