SBD/January 25, 2012/Franchises

Glendale Mayor Says NHL's Asking Price For Coyotes May Affect City

NHL reportedly hopes to get $170M in sale, but Forbes valued team at $36M less
Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs has "raised questions about whether the NHL's asking price" for the Coyotes will force the city to pay more, according to Lisa Halverstadt of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The NHL reportedly hopes to get $170M for the team, though Forbes recently valued the team at $36M less. Scruggs said that "that difference complicates bidders' dealings with Glendale, which must pay off its debt on the city-owned Arena." Scruggs: "It has kept other potential buyers out of the process of trying to purchase the team and I think it is definitely impacting the financial burden that's being asked of the city of Glendale." The Glendale City Council met behind closed doors yesterday for an update on the Coyotes negotiations, and Scruggs said that she "wants more substantive updates and more progress." NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly yesterday "defended the league's asking price for the team." He said that the NHL is "dealing with 'a number of parties interested' in the team and hasn't looked outside the Phoenix market." He "would not specify the number of bidding groups interested in the team" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 1/25). 

DOWNGRADED BOND RATING: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Kelly Nolan reports Glendale is selling about $136M in debt in the municipal-bond market this week, "just days after Moody's Investors Service cut its bond rating because of the desert city's obligations to cover losses" on the Coyotes. Moody's "downgraded Glendale's general-obligation bond rating a notch, from Aa2 to Aa3, last week, noting the city's 'strained' financial position after a 'significant' payment to the NHL" for the Coyotes' operating losses. Moody's "has a negative outlook for Glendale, because it may have to pay the NHL as much as $25 million more, for 2012, if the team doesn't secure a new owner in the coming months" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/25). 
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