The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the Glendale City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve a memorandum of understanding from Ice Edge Holdings toward purchasing the Phoenix Coyotes and keeping the team at Jobing.com Arena.
The memorandum gives Ice Edge exclusive negotiating rights for a new arena lease over the next 60 days. A new lease for the arena is a necessary step toward buying the team from its current owner, the NHL. The league still has to approve the memorandum.
The Phoenix Coyotes sale saga has seen everything from a fallout with a group headed by Chicago sports mogul Jerry Reinsdorf (after the commissioner endorsed the deal) to an Ice Edge back out. Now only one question remains: Can Ice Edge pay for the team and arena?
According to the Phoenix Business Journal, the same day the city council approved the memorandum, Daryl Jones, who is chief operating officer of Ice Edge, told Canadian media that financing the purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes may be difficult. Jones said that even after the city approves a lease deal, the deal still might not happen. Ice Edge will have to prove financing within 10 days of Tuesday, the day the lease was approved.
The Phoenix Business Journal also reported that if this last-ditch deal falls through with Ice Edge, the team will likely be sold to an owner that will move the team back to Winnipeg. The AP story also noted that the team hasn’t turned a profit since moving to Phoenix in 1996, so if Ice Edge doesn’t have the money now, they are fooling themselves if they think they will get it from the team. The Coyotes did not sell out a single playoff game in this year’s series vs. Detroit.
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Matthew Coller is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network, and is a freelance writer. He can be followed on Twitter
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