SBD/July 11, 2013/Franchises

Gosbee's Interest In Coyotes Came Only After NHL Revenue-Sharing Model Changed

Gosbee thinks the NHL's new revenue-sharing agreement is more fair than before
Prospective Coyotes Owner George Gosbee yesterday said that he was "pitched many times on becoming part of a bid for the NHL’s worst financial disaster," but he "never seriously considered it until the players and owners agreed to divide the league’s hockey-related revenue 50/50," according to David Shoalts of the GLOBE & MAIL. Prospective partner Anthony LeBlanc "jumped in after Greg Jamison’s ownership bid failed in January," and he and fellow prospective partner Daryl Jones "courted Gosbee again." Gosbee added of the new CBA, "That’s when the business model made sense. There is more of a fair revenue-sharing agreement." Gosbee plans to "be an active owner." He will "serve as the club’s chairman" and LeBlanc "will run the business side." Gosbee and his partners "scored another revenue boost when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman decreed the Coyotes would always receive a full share of the league’s revenue-sharing plan, which is as much" as $20M (all figures U.S.) a year. Each NHL club "has to meet revenue and ticket-sales targets or its share is docked." Add the $15M a year to "manage Jobing.com Arena in a 15-year lease coughed up by Glendale, and Gosbee could see the possibility of at least breaking even" on a club that "routinely lost more than" $30M a year. An NHL source said that Gosbee is "responsible for" $35M of the $45M, with the other nine partners "in for much smaller amounts." However, Gosbee said that it is "divided evenly among the group -- although it does have two tiers of investors" (GLOBE & MAIL, 7/11). Gosbee's partners said that they "were convinced to consider investing by the business case put forward" by Gosbee. Bonterra Energy Corp. CEO and prospective Coyotes investor George Fink said, "I really never thought I'd invest in a sporting franchise." He added, "But when we went through it, there were things that started to make sense" (CALGARY HERALD, 7/9).
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