While a Phoenix bankruptcy judge denied the sale and relocation of the Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton, Ontario in Canada this past week, telling the parties that based upon a self-imposed June 29 deadline date that there was too little time for the transaction to be completed, Research in Motion co-CEO Jim Balsille has not backed down in his quest for the club.
On Thursday, the Coyotes filed papers in court saying that Balsillie’s company, PSE Sports & Entertainment, would be willing to extend the auction date out from June 29 to Sept. 15 in order to complete the transaction under less compressed scheduling. Balsillie and the Coyotes believe they would still have time to get ready for the 2009-2010 season even if the sale were completed on the new date. Balsillie has a $212.5 million offer on the table, the only legitimate offer to date. As reported by The Associated Press, the court filing outlines the Coyotes and Balsillie’s position:
"Notwithstanding the deadline for a close no later than the end of June 2009 in the initial PSE offer, PSE has indicated its willingness to continue to bid for the team and the assets, and indeed has indicated willingness to extend its closing deadline to mid-September 2009," the Coyotes said in court filings. "As such, the PSE offer is still a pending offer for the assets, and indeed, the only actual offer the debtors have received to date for the assets."
In a separate filing on Thursday, PSE Sports said it has not abandoned its plan to move the team in time for next season.
"PSE believes it is still possible to play in Hamilton this year ... and will accommodate as much as it can to enable a delayed sale to occur," PSE Sports said in court documents.
PSE Sports also urged the judge to have relocation bids considered along with offers to keep the team in Glendale.
"If there are no reasonable firm bids for the club if it is kept in Glendale, there is no reason to delay consideration of relocation bids, and force a lame-duck season with tremendous losses in Glendale," the company said.
With Judge Redfield T. Baum delaying the sale, it has bought the NHL extra time to find solid bidders, as well as renegotiate the lease for Jobing.com Arena where the Coyotes play. Currently there are a number of revenue streams that are collected by the City of Glendale due to the considerable public outlay for the arena – revenues that new ownership looking to keep the club in Phoenix would like to collect.
Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of baseball's Chicago White Sox and the NBA's Chicago Bulls is one possible bidder, as are Toronto Argonauts owners Howard Sokolowski and David Cynamon. None of the other offers are as well formed as Balsillie’s at this time.
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