February 5, 2013
Attendance woes continue for Coyotes as sale talk simmers
By QMI Agency

Empty seats can be seen behind the Kings bench as they celebrate a goal against the Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz., on Jan. 26, 2013. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP)

Seven home games into the NHL's shortened season, the Phoenix Coyotes are dead last in attendance.

In their 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Monday night, the Coyotes attendance was announced at 9,508, the third time this season they have had less than 10,000 fans attend a game and dipped their season average to 11,956 in the 17,125 capacity arena.

The league has been paying the bills for the Coyotes since November 2009. Recently, an arena lease deal with the city of Glendale fell through with former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison on Jan. 31 at midnight.

If Jamison was able to successfully purchase the franchise, the city would have given him a 20-year contract to manage Jobing.com Arena for an average of $15 million a year.

Even though Jamison is still interested in buying the team, the Arizona Republic reports that Canadian marketing executive Anthony LeBlanc, who previously headed Ice Edge Holdings in 2010 to buy the Coyotes, said a new deal with Glendale would be critical for any potential buyer.

"Look, the reality is that any potential owner, myself included, will require a deal with the city that is very, very similar to the one that was on the table over the last several months," he said.


LeBlanc did not want to say if he considered himself a potential owner and refused any further comment to the paper.

But Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers said Friday that any potential arena deal for the Coyotes in the future would not be the same as the one offered Jamison.

"We have a great opportunity right now that we might actually end up with a better situation for our city, costing the taxpayers less money and still keeping the Coyotes here. That would be the ideal situation for everybody," Weiers said.

After the sale with Jamison fell through on Friday, the NHL sent out a release stating "We remain hopeful the Coyotes sale process will be resolved successfully and we will continue to work with the city of Glendale to move the process forward."


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