Tag: bond sale

Detroit Red Wings v Phoenix Coyotes - Game Four

Former Sharks president Greg Jamison wants to buy the Coyotes and won’t use bonds to do it

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You’ve heard of Jerry Reinsdorf. You’ve heard of Ice Edge Holdings. You’ve heard of Matthew Hulsizer. Now it’s time for you to get to know the latest name in the hunt to find an owner for the Phoenix Coyotes. Enter former San Jose Sharks president and CEO Greg Jamison to the discussion.

Jamison’s name was discovered as one of two parties interested in buying the moribund franchise from the NHL by the Phoenix Business Journal. Much like past attempted deals with the City of Glendale and the NHL, Jamison will work out a sales agreement with both parties to earn an exclusive negotiating window to work out a deal. All of the Coyotes’ previous suitors all worked out similar agreements with the city and the league to get things figured out so forgive us if that doesn’t get us too excited about Jamison’s name being pushed to the forefront.

What does give us reason to have a little more hope that things can get completed this time is a particular revelation that will help keep the pesky government watchdog group, the Goldwater Institute, out of the mix when it comes to working out a deal.

The city of Glendale said Friday it would not try to sell bonds to help facilitate a sale of the Phoenix Coyotes to a new owner.

The city issued a statement saying it was talking to two “qualified” ownership groups who want to buy the Coyotes and keep the team in Arizona.

“As indicated in June, the City of Glendale has identified two qualified buyers for the Coyotes team and is looking forward to finalizing documents with qualified buyers. No bonds will be sold by the city as part of these proposed concepts. As always, ongoing negotiations are confidential,” Glendale city spokeswoman Julie Frisoni said in a statement.

Not selling bonds to help get the deal moving would keep Goldwater’s interests in a potential deal out to pasture. As you might recall, Goldwater stepped in on Matthew Hulsizer’s offer to buy the team because the City of Glendale wanted to work out a $100 million bond sale to help give Hulsizer the money he was looking for to complete the deal. Goldwater saw the bond sale as a violation of the State of Arizona’s gift clause and promised litigation if the city went ahead with the sale. Instead of continuing to fight with government and special interest interference, Hulsizer withdrew his offer putting the Coyotes and Glendale back to square one.

If, and this is a big if, Jamison can get an offer together that works for both the NHL and the City of Glendale then perhaps this whole mess can be figured out and then the fans in Arizona can prove to the rest of the NHL that all they needed all along to show they’re serious about hockey was a stable owner. The Coyotes have been playthings for millionaire former owners Steve Ellman and Jerry Moyes who both had their hands in putting the Coyotes in this mess in the first place.

Ellman brokered the deal to get Jobing.com Arena built in Glendale and got the terrible lease the team has with the arena while Moyes, who bought the team from Ellman, tried to sell the Coyotes to BlackBerry guru Jim Balsillie to be rid of the franchise that was costing him tens of millions of dollars in losses per year.

If Jamison can purchase the team entirely with his own money, God bless him for it because that will keep all the watchdogs out of the mix and provided that Jamison doesn’t want to move the team any time in the future, he could be the savior the franchise has been looking for.

That said, we’ve been down this road before with all of the other potential buyers. We’ll find out soon enough whether Jamison is another notch in the belt of failed suitors or if he’s the guy to save hockey in the desert.

Potential Coyotes owner Matthew Hulsizer makes concession to try and finalize purchase

Detroit Red Wings v Phoenix Coyotes

As the saga surrounding the Phoenix Coyotes and Matthew Hulsizer’s efforts to buy the team from the NHL continues on, tonight Coyotes fans get a dose of what could turn out to be franchise-saving news.

During tonight’s game against Chicago, Hulsizer spoke with Fox Sports Arizona’s Todd Walsh to give an update on his efforts to acquire the team. His statements tonight made it clear that he’s stepping up his efforts in such a way that the government watchdog group Goldwater Institute may have to reconsider their threats to sue the City of Glendale.

Aaron Wood of Arizona Vibe Sports transcribed the interview to share the potentially good news from Hulsizer. Hulsizer explains how the revenue generated from parking will be handled so the gift clause that Goldwater Institute has focused on as the main issue in the deal will be satisfied.

“I’m on the record as saying that I should not move on the deal, I don’t feel like I should. It’s a free market. I’m signing up to take on losses that would otherwise be born by the Glendale and Arizona taxpayers. However, the deal needs to move forward. And when you look out 25, 30 years you know we want to do what’s in the best interest of Arizona and the best interest of Hockey fans and so… (pauses) We, on Friday, sent a letter to Goldwater to make it brain dead simple. We said ‘Look, we’re going to take the $100 million you get $25 million back. $75 million will guarantee it.’”

It’s a bold step and virtually a necessary one for Hulsizer to take. After all, with so much public money being thrown around in this deal, owning up to making sure the city doesn’t go totally broke in the matter has to be done. It’s always a curious issue when public money goes toward helping a sports franchise, but in the case of the Coyotes it’s a totally unique situation in which the city can suffer even more if the team goes.

As always with this story, it’s never quite over and settled. Goldwater will have their say about this new development and whether or not they sign off it seems to be the big problem. The threat of their litigation has everything to do with whether or not Hulsizer gets to have the bond sale necessary to create the funds to ensure his purchase of the team.

If Goldwater continues to raise a stink about this, their motives will come further into question as will what needs to be done to satisfy the gift clause. For what it’s worth, Senator John McCain and former Arizona Attorney General say that they believe this new deal does satisfy the issues at hand. So much legal mumbo-jumbo, so little time remaining on this situation.

Of course, this could all be avoided if Hulsizer would pony up the proper amount of money to keep public funds out of this situation. As it is, apparently a prospective owner with just the right amount of cash is good enough for now. We’ll see if that holds true before too long.