We’ve said this before, but…it appears the Phoenix Coyotes will have a new owner. I’m sure by now the Glendale crying wolf bit is getting tiresome, but according to the Winnipeg Free Press, this could be the real deal.
A spokesperson for the City of Glendale told the Free Press that the city and the Hulsizer group, headed by Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer, have agreed in principle to a lease that would allow the group to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes from the NHL. The reported $165 million deal will still need to be approved by the NHL board of governors.
The NHL purchased the team out of bankruptcy for $140 million in the spring of 2009, then reportedly lost $30 million (the city agreed to pay the NHL back). The city put $25 million in escrow while they waited for a new owner.
The city’s back is up against the wall with this deal. The NHL told the City of Glendale they’d need to find a buyer by Dec. 31 or the league would relocate the franchise.
We’ve learned when it comes to the City of Glendale and the Coyotes, anything can happen. During last year’s playoffs, Gary Bettman said on TV that he was happy to welcome Chicago sports mogul Jerry Reinsdorf to the NHL arena as the new owner of the Coyotes. That deal fell through, as did the Ice Edge Holdings group, who also dropped out after negotiations.
Details outside the price have not been released, but we can assume Hilsizer will pick up the NHL’s losses.
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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