Coyotes' fate remains in limbo

A Hockey fan holds a sign about the Goldwater Institute at Jobbing.com Arena in Glendale, AZ. (QMI...

A Hockey fan holds a sign about the Goldwater Institute at Jobbing.com Arena in Glendale, AZ. (QMI Agency)

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:37 PM ET

Nothing much appears to have changed in the desert, despite Goldwater and Glendale officials meeting face to face for the first time on Thursday.

Basically, the fate of the Phoenix Coyotes in Arizona appears to remain as bleak as it’s ever been.

Prospective owner Matthew Hulsizer also took part in the meeting, during which Goldwater offered up seven concerns and seven solutions to resolve the situation.

Some of the solutions from the taxpayer watchdog group included finding additional investors willing to put in more private money, locating a private buyer for the arena, reducing the arena management fee and getting a minor-league team to lease the arena.

In other words, they are proposals Glendale, the NHL and Hulsizer probably have no desire to even think about.

“The meeting was disappointing from our perspective,” Goldwater litigation director Clint Bolick told the Arizona Republic. “The mayor (Elaine Scruggs) asked for our concerns and our ideas and we provided a number of concerns and ideas. The city did not seem to be open to the ideas we suggested and the city attorney repeatedly told us he would see us in court.”

Glendale is trying to sell $116 million in bonds, $100 million of which it will give to Hulsizer to subsidize the sale of the Coyotes to the Chicago businessman. Goldwater has said it will sue Glendale if that transaction takes place because it believes it would violate the state’s gift clause.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has said Goldwater’s threat of legal action is the reason why the bonds haven’t sold, although Scruggs told the assembled media after the meeting she believed the bonds could still sell “in a short time” and that they were moving forward.

Goldwater CEO Darcy Olsen said not much has changed as a result of the get-together.

“It was a cupcake summit, but unfortunately the cupcakes were tastier than the conversation,” Olsen said.

If the deal to keep the Coyotes in Arizona can’t be completed within the next month, it’s believed the NHL will sell the franchise to Winnipeg’s True North Sports and Entertainment and move it to Manitoba for the 2011-12 NHL season.

Hulsizer left the meeting without speaking to reporters, but Phoenix’s FOX affiliate said the hopeful owner told it he intended to go ahead with the purchase , lawsuit or not.


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