SBD/March 21, 2011/Franchises

Hulsizer Alters Terms Of Coyotes Deal, Agrees To Guarantee $75M Of Bonds

Hulsizer attempting to assuage legal concerns raised by Goldwater Institute
Prospective Coyotes Owner Matthew Hulsizer yesterday said that he "has changed the terms by which he would purchase the franchise in an effort to assuage legal concerns raised by the Goldwater Institute," according to the AP. Under the terms of the lease Hulsizer negotiated with the City of Glendale, the city agreed to sell $100M in bonds that will "go toward the purchase price of the team from the NHL." Hulsizer yesterday said that he "will guarantee $75-million of the bonds which he said will negate legal concerns about possible violation of the gift clause." He said that the other $25M "already was going to be paid in cash to the city." Hulsizer: "I'm on the record as saying that I should not move on the deal. I don't feel like I should. It's a free market. I'm signing up to take on losses that would otherwise be borne by the Glendale and Arizona taxpayers. However, the deal needs to move forward" (AP, 3/20). ESPN.com's Scott Burnside noted the move "follows behind-the-scenes discussions involving Arizona senator John McCain and former state attorney general Grant Woods, both of whom believe it's important that the Coyotes remain in Glendale, and officials with Goldwater." Hulsizer "presented a letter to the Goldwater Institute Friday outlining his concessions," and multiple sources said that the Goldwater Institute "has not responded to Hulsizer's change of heart." Those concessions came "after some intervention by McCain and Woods in recent days." Meanwhile, sources said that buyers for the bonds "are in place, and that if Goldwater backs off the bonds will be sold quickly" (ESPN.com, 3/20). McCain said yesterday, "It is to the greater good of the state of Arizona that the Coyotes remain here" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/21).

WHAT IF COYOTES LEFT? In Phoenix, Dan Bickley wrote, "If the Coyotes were forced to leave, the fallout would be more emotional than financial. Some sponsorship dollars would be reallocated among existing teams. The lowest price point in the market -- affordable suite deals at Jobing.com Arena -- would be eliminated. Yet the impact among competitors isn't Earth-shaking, and there would be little migration of hockey fans to other stadiums across the Valley." D'Backs President & CEO Derrick Hall said, "We think four teams are better. We can easily support four teams. We don't share the same ticket holders. I think we need all four." Suns President & CEO Rick Welts: "Our belief is we are rooting for them to stay. If they leave, it will change the way people view us as a big-league market. National advertisers pay attention to that" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/20).
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