It wouldn’t be summer until we’ve had a buyer approved for the Phoenix Coyotes.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports the NHL has confirmed they have an agreement with George Gosbee’s Renaissance Sports & Entertainment group to purchase the ownerless franchise.
Does that mean the now four-year old struggle to sell the formerly bankrupt franchise is at an end? No.
There are still many issues left to be figured out yet including a lease agreement for Jobing.com Arena with the City of Glendale. That part of the arrangement has been the major sticking point for previous buyers including Jerry Reinsdorf, Ice Edge Holdings, and Matthew Hulsizer. Greg Jamison had a deal worked out with the city only to fall short of coming up with the money to purchase the team.
We told you here last night the NHL was sharing an ownership plan with the city on Tuesday and Gosbee’s group will be the ones to likely take part in that. The cost of what it takes to run the arena figures to be a huge issue as the city is strapped for cash and cannot afford to pay out in a big way to do that. If there’s traction there, the sale may actually happen.
According to Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal, the City of Glendale is looking into a new way to figure out what to do about finding a new owner and/or someone to run Jobing.com Arena.
The Glendale City Council will vote whether or not to offer a contract to Beacon Sports Capital Partners LLC worth $25,000 and another $400 an hour for them to advise the city on how to proceed in finding a new owner for the Coyotes. According to city documents the total cost of the contract is worth $100,000.
All told, if that kind of investment can unearth an owner and someone to operate the arena, it’s worth the money. If it fails, it’s just more money the city is throwing down a hole in hopes of keeping the team.
The city was ready to pay former Sharks vice president Greg Jamison $300 million to take over the team and operate the arena, but he failed to buy the team by the January 31 deadline despite working hard to find others to invest in the team. The Coyotes have been without an owner since 2009.
Some citizens of Glendale, Arizona are feeling a bit more empty tonight.
Melissa Leu of the Arizona Republic reports a bid to get a referendum on the city’s $300 million lease agreement for the team fell short on the number of signatures needed to put it to a vote.
A group calling themselves “Back To Sanity” failed to get the 6,900 votes needed to put the lease agreement to a vote. In an odd twist of fate, one of the group’s founders, Ken Jones, cited a lack of money needed to pay professionals to go out and help gather signatures.
“As soon as we learned that money wasn’t going to be available to us, we realized our chances were going to be pretty slim,” said Jones, who estimated needing $16,000 to pay professional signature gatherers. “But we didn’t quit trying until the last day.”
With the possibility of a referendum out of the way, the only thing getting in the way of the team staying put for good is prospective owner Greg Jamison not completing the purchase of the team. According to the lease agreement, he has until January 31 to do just that.