More trouble for Coyotes sale, as interest rates and legal issues might force a move to Winnipeg

10 Comments

It’s unclear if the NHL’s patience for the Phoenix Coyotes will remain as constant – and stubborn – as it has been so far, but potential owner Matt Hulsizer might just need to look elsewhere soon.

In fact, one report by Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal indicates that it could be a matter of days before the clock strikes midnight on the deal Hulsizer agreed upon (in principle) with the City of Glendale. If you haven’t been keeping up with the news much lately, the biggest issue (lately at least) has been the possibility that the Goldwater Institute might sue the city as it tries to sell millions worth of bonds to help make the deal go through.

Keep in mind that this is speculation rather than facts – and it’s coming from a biased party in Hulsizer – but the deal would be even bigger trouble if interest rates on the bonds drive the price higher. Here’s the lowdown from Sunnucks.

Now, the bond sale faces questions about higher interest rates that could cost Glendale as much as $100 million in extra interest over 30 years, according to Hulsizer in an interview with Fox Sports Arizona this weekend.

That’s because the Goldwater Institute’s threat of a lawsuit challenging the legality of the $197 million proposal is driving up the risk and interest rates on the bonds.

That leaves Hulsizer, the NHL, Glendale and bond investors having to decide whether they will bite the bullet and take out or buy bonds with higher interest rates. There’s also the question of whether investors will purchase the bonds with the Goldwater suit lingering over hockey in the desert.

Hulsizer said Monday he just wants Goldwater to decide on whether to sue, and not leave the deal hanging in the balance.

Sunnucks writes that if the deal falls through, the league is likely to go to Plan B: selling the team to a Winnipeg ownership group. On the flip side, Hulsizer might also look into buying a different fledgling NHL franchise, such as the Dallas Stars or Atlanta Thrashers.

Obviously, this situation is far from settled, but you have to wonder how the Coyotes are going to stay in Phoenix after this season. We’ll keep you updated as details emerge.