SBD/March 8, 2011/Franchises

Glendale Decides Not To Take Legal Action Against Goldwater Institute For Now

Matthew Hulsizer says other NHL teams have approached him
A source said that the City of Glendale "has decided not to take any legal action against the Goldwater Institute for now," but prospective Coyotes buyer Matthew Hulsizer said that "other NHL teams are beckoning and he cannot wait much longer to complete his purchase," according to David Shoalts of the GLOBE & MAIL. A potential legal spat between Glendale and the Goldwater Institute is "delaying the sale of municipal bonds that would back Hulsizer's purchase of the team from the NHL." Hulsizer said he has "been approached by other teams," though he is not pursuing that interest "right now because we love Arizona." But while the NHL "has not put a squeeze on the sale by imposing a deadline," Hulsizer said that he "needs to have the municipal bonds on the market soon." Hulsizer: "I don't think I have the patience to last months. Weeks, yes, months no." NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly acknowledged that there is a "date where a decision will be needed in order to draw up a schedule for next season with Winnipeg in it and to handle other logistics." But he added, "It's not one we have established, or quite frankly, that we are particularly focused on right now" (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/8). A source said that "discussions aimed at getting the bonds sold and a lease agreement finalized" with Hulsizer "continued Monday and so the city held off on filing the suit" (ESPN.com, 3/7). Sources "believe the final dye has been cast and that it is only a matter of days before the lease agreement with ... Hulsizer falls apart and the league formally announces it will move the team to Winnipeg for the 2011-12 season" (ESPN.com, 3/7).

NOT BACKING DOWN: Goldwater CEO Darcy Olsen said that the watchdog group is "not interested in shuffling off the stage to allow Glendale to participate in a sale" of the Coyotes to Hulsizer. Olsen: "Let me be clear: the Goldwater Institute will not stop this investigation" (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 3/8). In Phoenix, Laurie Roberts writes, "What is going on is that Glendale is desperate to avoid becoming the proud owner of an eight-year-old white elephant -- one the city (taxpayers) borrowed $180 million to build. Glendale's leaders predict the economy will take a $500 million hit over next 25 years if the Coyotes skate to Winnipeg, Manitoba. The problem is, that's not a valid reason to hand over $197 million to the team" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/8). Daly wrote in an e-mail yesterday, "I don't anticipate a lawsuit brought by Glendale (to the extent one is filed) will ultimately have any impact on how the franchise issue plays out." YAHOO SPORTS' Nicholas Cotsonika noted if the Coyotes leave Arizona, the NHL "would lose the 12th-largest TV market in the United States at a time when it is working on a new deal for American television." But Daly wrote that the Coyotes' potential move "would not have 'any impact on our ongoing television negotiations' and the topic had not even been raised in discussion" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/7). Meanwhile, the CBC's Elliotte Friedman noted the NHL has done "several detailed analyses" of the Winnipeg market. Sources said that the league "estimates revenues of approximately" $70M per season, which would be the "lowest among Canadian teams" (CBC.ca, 3/7).
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