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SBD/January 27, 2011/Franchises
NHL Refutes Report That Glendale Has Failed To Raise Bonds To Keep Coyotes
Published January 27, 2011
The NHL is "refuting a report out of Toronto that says the city of Glendale, Ariz., has failed in its initial attempt to raise $100 million in bonds to keep the NHL's Coyotes in Phoenix," according to the WINNIPEG SUN. Sportsnet Radio Fan 590 yesterday cited a source as saying that Glendale's public bond offering "has failed, forcing the city to try a potentially more difficult private bond offering in order to generate the money promised" to prospective Coyotes Owner Matthew Hulsizer. But NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly yesterday in an e-mail said the report is "not accurate." Meanwhile, Winnipeg's True North Sports & Entertainment is "refuting a report that suggests it is trying to influence the deal by steering it into court" (WINNIPEG SUN, 1/27). In Phoenix, Mike Sunnucks cited a source as saying that he is "confident Glendale will soon sell the bonds and be able to finalize the Hulsizer deal," though the source acknowledged that a "possible lawsuit from Goldwater Institute over Glendale payments to Hulsizer could trip up bond sales." The source: "Winnipeg is gunning to get this moved out of Arizona and up there quickly. They have hired consultants who are behind the scenes trying to quietly promote a suit by the Goldwater Institute." But True North Dir of Corporate Communications & Hockey Operations Scott Brown said that his group "has not had any contact with the Goldwater Institute about the Coyotes." Brown: "I can tell you that no one from True North Sports & Entertainment has ever had any contact with anyone from the Goldwater Institute at any time" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 1/26).
WAITING GAME: FS ARIZONA's Craig Morgan wrote while Coyotes officials "insist it's just a matter of time before Matthew Hulsizer completes the purchase of the team, a recent report by the Arizona Republic crystallized the question on everyone's lips: What's taking so long?" When the Glendale City Council and the NHL "both gave Hulsizer their stamp of approval by mid-December, we were told the sale would happen in a few weeks," but "as the All-Star break dawns, we're still waiting." Morgan: "We're told now that the only thing holding up the sale is the city of Glendale, which must sell at least $100 million in bonds and transfer the money to Hulsizer." But an NHL source said that the city "could be waiting for the bond rate to improve before making the move." Morgan: "When will the league tire of running and financing the team? When will it grow weary of Glendale's dragging feet? When will [NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman] step in and say enough is enough?" (FOXSPORTSARIZONA.com, 1/26).
RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB: An ARIZONA REPUBLIC editorial stated, "We know very little about what kind of team owner Hulsizer might be, other than the fact that he is a rich young man who understands and loves the game of hockey. He has said the right things, which include promises to keep the team's impressive coach and general manager, to develop a sound marketing campaign, and to spend what it takes to put a consistently competitive Coyotes team on the ice in Glendale." The editorial added, "We have no way of knowing if Matthew Hulsizer is the next Mike Ilitch. We only know the ingredients are there. A love of the game ... a commitment to player development ... and a long-term lease" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 1/25).