SBD/February 25, 2011/Franchises

Glendale Said To Be Feeling Pressure From NHL To Complete Bond Financing

Glendale issuing bonds in attempt to keep Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena
Conservative watchdog group the Goldwater Institute said that the city of Glendale is "under intense pressure by the National Hockey League to complete bond financing within days for its deal with the Phoenix Coyotes or risk losing the team," according to Rebekah Sanders of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The city, in turn, is "demanding an answer from Goldwater about whether it intends to sue to block the deal." Goldwater attorney Carrie Ann Sitren said that the group's timeline "would not be swayed by outside pressure but a decision could be made within a few days." Sitren noted that Jordan Rose, an attorney retained by Glendale, "told Goldwater on Thursday that the NHL would walk away from the Glendale deal unless Goldwater agreed not to sue." But Rose said, "The NHL, financial institutions and the city continue to move forward." NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said, "The league has not communicated, nor has it set or established, any deadline for completion of the bond sale or the closing of the franchise sale transaction." Sanders notes Goldwater "has explored for weeks whether Glendale pledged significantly more money to team buyer Matthew Hulsizer than it would get in return, which could violate Arizona's gift clause." The city "intends to sell as much as $116 million in bonds to pay Hulsizer in exchange for allowing the city to charge for parking during arena events" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/25). In Winnipeg, Gary Lawless reports the bonds "were issued more than two weeks ago but pre-sale attempts have failed to gain much traction and Glendale to date has been unable to come up with the money Hulsizer needs fronted in order to close the deal with the NHL." NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Toronto's Sportsnet Radio Fan 590 Thursday said, "(Phoenix will close) provided they sell the bonds, which they are working on doing. Obviously, if the bonds don't sell that's a whole different kettle of fish. If the bonds do get sold there will be a closing soon" (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 2/25).
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