Finally one of the uglier chapters in recent sports business history is at an end. The city of Glendale, Arizona has agreed to a new lease on jobing.com arena for the Phoenix Coyotes. Now the NHL, who brought the team out of bankruptcy, can find a new owner for the team and the word is they would like to find a buyer willing to keep the Coyotes in the desert. The new lease gores a long way towards making that happen.
Now it looks like Chicago Businessman Matthew Hulsizer will purchase the team from the league and we can all put this sad chapter behind us. The Ice Edge group is solidly behind this plan and will serve Hulsizer as partial owners. Hulsizer’s background is in banking and investments, and he was brought into the Ice Edge group to be their money man. Originally the league and city were concerned that Ice Edge’s financing was mostly through bank loans.
The City of Glendale has deposited 25 million dollars in the bank to cover the losses for the current financial year, and Hulsizer’s group has added an additional 25 million of good faith money to get this deal done. If the NHL had not found a local buyer by January it seems very likely that the team would have been sold and relocated.
Despite all of this going on behind the scenes and a very low payroll the Coyotes were a very big surprise last season, so far this year they are off to a 1-2 start but it is still very early.