Coyotes sale still faces many hurdles
CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency
|Keith Yandle of the Phoenix Coyotes celebrates with Adrian Aucoin after scoring a goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the third period in NHL action on Feb. 13, 2012. (Rich Lam/Getty Images/AFP)
Not so fast, Phoenix.
Talks are continuing on a possible sale of the Phoenix Coyotes, but reports of an impending deal with a group headed by former San Jose Sharks executive Greg Jamison are premature, one NHL source told QMI Agency.
When asked to sum up the situation, the source said Tuesday: "Status quo."
The NHL has been in talks with three potential owners.
The Phoenix Business Journal reported early Tuesday the NHL was "close to putting the finishing touches" on the sale of the Coyotes to the Jamison group.
"The deal still has go through final approvals and due diligence as well as through the city of Glendale which owns Jobing.com Arena," the Business Journal reported. "But Jamison, the NHL and Glendale are close to a final deal, according to sources familiar with the hockey team."
It appears that all parties still have significant hoops to jump through, not the least of which is coming up with a financial plan that won't contravene Arizona constitution gift laws which prohibit corporate subsidies. The Goldwater Institute, a conservative public watchdog, scuttled a deal to sell the Coyotes to Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer last year because it involved the issue of $100 million in bonds by Glendale which Goldwater said violated the gift clause.
It's believed any deal to keep the Coyotes playing at Jobing.com arena would involve a fund established by Glendale to help subsidize the team's losses, reported to have run as high as $30 million a season.
The NHL has owned the Coyotes since 2009 after buying them out of bankruptcy protection for $140 million and is looking to unload them for $170 million.
In addition to the Jamison group, there has been talk of two other interested buyers, Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf and a mystery investor.