SBD/April 1, 2013/Franchises

Second Investment Group Emerges In Coyotes Saga; Looking To Close This Week

A deal for the Coyotes could close sometime this week
One day after AltaCorp. Capital Chair & CEO George Gosbee cropped up as a possible buyer for the Coyotes, a "completely separate group of potential buyers has emerged from California" in Capstone Affluent Strategies Founder & CEO Darin Pastor, according to Scott Burnside of ESPN.com. Pastor, a Buffalo native whose family was longtime owner of the former AHL Buffalo Bisons, said that his group of investors, "most of whom are based on the West Coast but have strong ties to the Northeast, has financing ready and hopes to reach out to the NHL as early as" this week. Gosbee and former Ice Edge Holdings CEO Anthony LeBlanc also are "interested in closing a deal with the NHL and working up a lease agreement with the City of Glendale" as early as this week. Pastor "insisted that his group includes investment specialists with a long history of working with municipalities in regard to managing sports venues." He added that he "thought the city would be agreeable to the terms the group would come up with in a new lease deal" (ESPN.com, 3/29). FOXSPORTSARIZONA.com's Craig Morgan wrote, "If you’re not familiar with Darin Pastor, you’re not alone." The NHL and the Coyotes "hadn't heard of" him until he issued a press release on Friday through PR firm KCD Public Relations. Pastor said that he "first decided to pursue the club about six months ago but wanted to make sure he could secure the financing" before moving forward. He said that his intent is to "keep the team in Glendale." Pastor: "This is a long-term commitment" (FOXSPORTSARIZONA.com, 3/29).

FIND YOURSELF A CITY TO LIVE IN: In N.Y., Jeff Klein wrote Quebec and Seattle are the "only cities considered to be serious contenders" if the Coyotes were to relocate. Quebec would "seem to be the best bet, because it has an ownership group led by" Quebecor Media President & CEO Pierre-Karl Peladeau, as well as an 18,000-seat arena "under construction." But a Quebec franchise would put 17 teams in the Eastern Conference and leave "only 13 in the West, throwing the league’s trumpeted realignment plan into disarray." Some believe the NHL also is "leery of putting a team in Quebec, with a metropolitan population of about 765,000." Meanwhile, Seattle has a metro area "more than four times larger than Quebec's," and is "courting" the NBA Kings (N.Y. TIMES, 3/31).
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