Glendale to Keep Coyotes – Bring on the Thrashers!

| May 11, 2011 | 0 Comments

Return of the Winnipeg JetsFrom the Montreal Gazette

The Phoenix Coyotes will play a least one more National Hockey league season in the desert.

City council in Glendale, Arizona, on Tuesday night voted in favour of paying the NHL up to $25 million U.S. to cover potential losses as a new owner is sought for the troubled franchise.

“The decision we’re making tonight is a long-term decision for the City of Glendale,” said Mayor Elaine Scruggs, rejecting suggestions that the money represented a subsidy for potential owner Matthew Hulsizer. “Our job is to make the decision that we believe is best for the long-term benefit of our citizens. This has nothing whatsoever to do with whether Mr. Hulsizer ever owns this team.”

The news is a blow to hockey fans in Winnipeg, who were hoping that a no vote by council would help speed the return of NHL hockey to the city.

The Coyotes are owned by the NHL, which took control of the team in September 2009 after buying out of bankruptcy following a controversial auction process.

The league didn’t intend to control the team for long, and thought it had a new owner lined up in Hulsizer, a Chicago businessman. Part of that sale hinged on Glendale selling bonds to raise $100 million to help Hulsizer complete the transaction.

The deal has been held up the Goldwater Institute, a tax watchdog group that has threatened to sue the city.

Hulsizer’s bid took a blow on the weekend when Ice Edge Holdings Inc., a group of U.S. and Canadian investors with a minority stake the Hulsizer plan, withdrew its interest in buying the team.

At one point, Ice Edge was the front-runner to acquire the team, but backed off when a new lease agreement with the City of Glendale fell through last year.

Winnipeg To Pursue Thrashers

With the Coyotes out of the picture for hockey fans in Winnipeg, focus might now shift to the Atlanta Thrashers.

The Thrashers are for sale and the ownership in Atlanta would reportedly like to complete a sale before another season of revenue losses.

Winnipeg’s True North Sports and Entertainment is expected to enter into negotiations with the hockey club.


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Category: Jets News

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