SBD/June 17, 2013/Franchises

If Glendale, Coyotes Cannot Reach Deal, NHL Reportedly Will Relocate Team To Seattle

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A Glendale City Council member said there are other bidders for the Coyotes
A new prospective Coyotes ownership group, led by former Glencore Int'l Managing Dir Ray Bartoszek and Carriage House Partners Founder Anthony Lanza, "is kicking tires" on buying the team for $220M, and if they "cannot get what they want from Glendale by July 2 ... the club will move to Seattle," according to the CBC's Glenn Healy. The NHL has a "handshake deal" with Renaissance Sports & Entertainment for the Coyotes, but a Plan B has come into play if Renaissance does not "get their subsidies with regards to Glendale council." Former NHLer Jeremy Roenick "will be part of the group that will help to run hockey operations" if Bartoszek and Lanza buy the team. The CBC's Elliotte Friedman noted the Canucks announced they are relocating their AHL affiliate to Utica, N.Y., "but before that they tried to put them in the Key Arena in Seattle." Friedman: "It was blocked. They were told it was not available for hockey" ("HNIC," CBC, 6/15). In Seattle, Allen & Thompson noted Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and the City Council two weeks ago "worked out a tentative deal with" Bartoszek and Lanza for the "use of KeyArena for the 2013-14 season if they can ... secure the team and relocate to Seattle" (SEATTLE TIMES, 6/17). McGinn yesterday in a statement acknowledged that a rep of hedge fund manager Chris Hansen "introduced him two weeks ago to potential investors in an NHL team, who also met with several members of the city council." McGinn added that he "also spoke with Commissioner Gary Bettman last week." But SPORTSPRESSNW.com's Art Thiel wondered how McGinn plans to make Key Arena "viable as a two- to three-year temporary home for NHL hockey." The building was remodeled in '95 "for basketball only," meaning the "sightlines for the bigger floor required for the NHL limit seating to about 11,000" (SPORTSPRESSNW.com, 6/16).

MYSTERY MEN: Glendale City Council member Gary Sherwood on Friday said, "There are other groups lurking that the NHL hasn’t brought to us. They have their one candidate. And the way I look at it is, maybe Renaissance (Sports and Entertainment) is the best for the NHL, but maybe only second- or third-best for Glendale.” In Phoenix, Dan Bickley cited a source as saying that there is a "mystery buyer," who is "real and would bring real money to the table." Renaissance’s deal is "heavy on loans, short on equity, and no person has more than a $10 million stake in the game." They want "an out clause after four to five years, creating fears that they conceivably could run the team into the ground and bail." If there is a "better option for Glendale, the NHL should produce that party immediately." The NHL has been "a loyal partner." It has "stood by the Valley, for better and for worse." But the NHL is "done running this franchise" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 6/15).

CLOSING IN? FOXSPORTSARIZONA.com's Craig Morgan noted Glendale and RSE have "done what many thought impossible." Multiple sources have confirmed that the two sides "have bridged a $9 million annual gap on an arena lease agreement and the proposal will be presented at the Glendale City Council executive session on Tuesday." But while the city has "only approved $6 million in its budget to manage the arena," it is believed Renaissance Sports and Entertainment "was able to find multiple Coyotes-related revenue streams for Glendale that will provide the city between" $8M and $11M annually on a 15-year lease. RSE needs "about $15 million annually to manage the arena" (FOXSPORTSARIZONA.com, 6/14).
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