Christian Petersen

Glendale approves Phoenix Coyotes lease deal, paving way to sale

The City of Glendale has approved a lease deal with Greg Jamison, the prospective owner of the Coyotes. Now all he must do is finally finalize his purchase of the team.

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37 Total Updates since August 18, 2011
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Phoenix Coyotes lease deal approved

Suitors to own the Phoenix Coyotes won a major vote in the city of Glendale, Ariz., that will finally allow Greg Jamison's ownership group to purchase the franchise from the NHL.

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Coyotes lease deal to be voted on Tuesday night

The Coyotes' future in the greater Phoenix area is in jeopardy. Unless a long-term agreement can be reached, the franchise could leave for another city.

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The Phoenix Coyotes sale gets another extension

The NHL and the City of Glendale plan on extending the agreement that sees the league running Jobing.com Arena for 30 more days, as Greg Jamison attempts to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes, the Phoenix Business Journal reported on Monday.

Jamison has been trying to purchase the team from the NHL and keep the team in the Phoenix area. The NHL took over the Phoenix Coyotes after the previous owner Jerry Moyes declared bankruptcy in 2009. The latest 30-day agreement between Glendale and the NHL expired at the end of September.

The Glendale City Council approved a deal in June for a new arena, but the city is holding out and trying to get better terms on a deal. Meanwhile, Jamison has an agreement with the NHL in place, but is still seeking capital to meet the NHL's $170 million asking price for the Coyotes.

The city of Glendale has paid the NHL approximately $25 million for each of the past two seasons to run the Jobing.com Arena.

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Phoenix Coyotes, NHL Allow Greg Jamison More Time To Finalize Team Purchase

Potential Phoenix Coyotes buyer Greg Jamison has been given more time to complete his purchase. The NHL extended its lease agreement to manage Glendale, Ariz.'s hockey arena for another month, according to the Arizona Republic.

Jamison already has a deal in place with the city of Glendale, but he is still working to meet the NHL's asking price of about $170 million.

The cloud over the sale of the team has handcuffed front office dealings. Most notably, free agent Shane Doan has said he will wait no longer than Sept. 15, the day the current CBA expires, to find a suitor. Doan would like to stay with Phoenix, but does not want to risk finding out what the new market conditions might look like after a newly negotiated CBA.

For more on the sale situation in Phoenix, stick with our StoryStream and check in with SB Nation Arizona and Coyotes blog Five For Howling.

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NHL Extends Phoenix Coyotes Arena Deal For Extra 31 Days

The National Hockey League will retain control of the Phoenix Coyotes through the month of August as they extend their agreement with the City of Glendale, Ariz., and continue to work toward a sale with prospective owner Greg Jamison.

The agreement originally expired July 1, 2012, and has been extended for 31 days once already, according to Sportsnet, and will be extended again through Aug. 31. Reports earlier in the week indicated that Jamison was $20 million short of the NHL's $170 million asking price for the Coyotes. Glendale has already agreed to a lease agreement with Jamison on the city-owned arena in which the team plays its home games, but that agreement cannot go into effect until Jamison finalizes his purchase of the club.

This all takes place against the back drop of the Shane Doan free agency situation. The veteran winger wishes to remain in Phoenix, but his agent has noted repeatedly that his patience is running thin with the Coyotes' sale saga. Doan could choose to go elsewhere if this isn't sorted out sooner than later.

For more on the sale situation in Phoenix, stick with our StoryStream and check in with SB Nation Arizona and Coyotes blog Five For Howling.

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Phoenix Coyotes Sale: Concerns Raised On Greg Jamison's Ability To Finalize Deal

Greg Jamison is still trying to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes, but as the club faces a Friday deadline from captain Shane Doan to either finalize or make notable progress in a deal, it appears confidence is waning in Jamison's ability to complete the purchase.

According to the Phoenix Business Journal, folks close to the situation in Arizona are becoming increasingly nervous about Jamison's ability to gather the funds required to purchase the team. The NHL, which has controlled the team since purchasing them out of bankruptcy in 2009, is attempting to sell the club to Jamison for somewhere around $170 million. Jamison has never publicly stated who his partners are in attempting to purchase the Coyotes.

The City of Glendale has approved a lease agreement between Jamison and Jobing.com Arena, the City-owned home of the Coyotes. The deal was challenged by several local residents, but all attempts to push the decision to the fall ballot have failed.

Jamison obviously cannot sign the agreement until he owns the team, and the longer he takes to come up with the necessary money, the worse news gets for both Doan's future in Arizona and the club's future in Arizona.

Relocation for the 2012-13 season seems impossible this late on the NHL offseason calendar, even if the NHL would rather not operate the team for a fourth-straight season in Glendale, but a newly-elected council will take office in January and there's no sign that they'll be supportive of the lease agreement if it's still unsigned by Jamison.

Doan's agent, Terry Bross, has told media in Phoenix that his client will begin looking seriously at other teams after Friday, and that signing with one of those clubs could follow soon after.

For more on the sale situation in Phoenix, stick with our StoryStream and check in with SB Nation Arizona and Coyotes blog Five For Howling.

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Phoenix Coyotes Sale Could Advance As Opponents Miss Deadline

Opponents of the $324 million Phoenix Coyotes sale to a group led by Greg Jamison have apparently missed a Monday deadline to gather enough signatures to get the measure pushed to the fall ballot.

City of Glendale, Ariz., officials argue that the deadline came Monday, 30 days after they approved a lease agreement with Jamison, while the opponents of the deal argue that the deadline is July 16, 30 days after they began their campaign to gather signatures. Phoenix Business Journal and The Arizona Republic report that the city likely has election law on its side and that the deadline has indeed passed, but that a court fight could decide.

Should the referendum hit the ballot, it will drag the Coyotes sale process into the 2012-13 hockey season. It's also expected that voters would turn down the sale, pushing the NHL back to square one. Should the referendum stop in its tracks, however, the sale to Jamison could be finalized rapidly, a source of optimism for Coyotes fans.

Relocation of the team less than 100 days before the scheduled start of the season could be impossible, and should the league decide against owning and operating the team for a third-straight season, there's been speculation the Coyotes could fold completely should this referendum be approved.

For more on the sale situation in Phoenix, stick with our StoryStream and check in with SB Nation Arizona and Coyotes blog Five For Howling.

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Proposed Glendale Voter Referendum Could Stop Coyotes Sale

A 20-year arena leasing deal that would keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Arizona could be in jeopardy thanks to a voter referendum that could put the team's future up to the voting public in November and scuttle a potential sale. But as Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal reports, it's unclear whether the group behind the referendum is on track to get the referendum on the ballot — or even how many signatures that would require.

A Glendale law requires citizens to get signatures from 10 percent of the voting public to get a referendum on a general election ballot. Sunnucks wrote on July 6 that Joe Cobb and Ken Jones, organizers from the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute that is behind the referendum, were told that the 2010 turnout of 11,309 voters meant that they would need to get only 1,131 signatures, down from the 1,800 the city is holding as the correct number. But Jones told Sunnucks on Monday that the magic number may be closer to 1,600.

In any case, it's unclear how many signatures are still left to collect, and if Cobb and Jones will end up getting them in time. Summer temperatures in Glendale have made the process arduous, and the interpretation of another rule about how soon signatures must be collected after a city council measure passes — it was approved at a meeting on June 8, but may have taken several more days to be legally passed — may close the initiative's window.

If the referendum fails to make it to the November ballot, the path should be clear for a group led by former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison to finalize its purchase of the team.

For more on the Coyotes, visit Five For Howling and SB Nation Arizona.

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Phoenix Coyotes Sale: Judge Denies Goldwater Request, Paves Way For Council Vote

City Council members in Glendale, Ariz. are set to vote on a proposed lease agreement with prospective Phoenix Coyotes owner Greg Jamison thanks to a decision in Maricopa County Court Friday morning that cleared a roadblock from watchdog group Goldwater Institute.

Goldwater had hoped to block the vote on the grounds that the City had not provided proper documentation to the public regarding the sale, a contention the City denied. The Court agreed and after a day of deliberations and public questions, the Council will vote on the proposed $325 million lease agreement Friday afternoon.

The agreement is not a deal for the team, rather an agreement between the City and prospective team owner Greg Jamison to operate the City-owned Jobing.com Arena, home of the Coyotes. According to the Arizona Republic, the 20-year lease agreement will pay Jamison's group $325 million to operate and make improvements on the arena.

It's expected the deal will pass the Council vote. Jamison has a tentative agreement with the NHL to buy the Coyotes, currently owned by the league, once a lease agreement is reached with the City.

For more on the sale situation in Phoenix, stick with our StoryStream and check in with SB Nation Arizona and Coyotes blog Five For Howling.

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Phoenix Coyotes Sale: NHL Optimistic About Greg Jamison Purchase

While the Phoenix Coyotes sale to Greg Jamison is still a work in progress, and while the NHL expects the situation to play out positively for hockey fans in Arizona, no guarantees are being made about their future in the desert. Gary Bettman discussed the situation with reporters in Newark on Wednesday.

"I spoke to Greg Jamison early [Wednesday]," Bettman said. "He continues to do the two things he needs to do to secure the future of the Coyotes where they are in Arizona: One, working to conclude a set of documents with the City of Glendale on the building management situation. And he continues to put his equity together.

"The City of Glendale I believe next week is supposed to vote on the management agreement. Once that's in place, I think Greg will be able to conclude hopefully the finalization of his equity raise."

There are still a lot of moving parts here. That's perhaps why Bettman couldn't guarantee that the Coyotes would be in Glendale, Ariz., next season when pressed on the question by a reporter.

"I can't say anything with 100 percent certainty," he said. "I think the likelihood is, based on everything we know today, the process should conclude successfully, but it's not something I'm in a position to guarantee. We haven't worked on a Plan B for Phoenix. Our hope and expectation, going back to the earlier question, is this will get done. If it doesn't, we'll have to deal with it at the time. But it's not anything we're focused on at this time."

For more on the sale situation in Phoenix, check in with SB Nation Arizona and Coyotes blog Five For Howling.

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Gary Bettman To Address Coyotes Ownership Monday

An ownership group led by former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison has reportedly reached a tentative agreement with the NHL to purchase Phoenix Coyotes. The NHL is expected to formally announce the news during a press conference before the Coyotes' playoff game Monday evening. From NHL.com:

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will meet with the media Monday at 9 p.m. ET to discuss the ownership situation of the Phoenix Coyotes.

The availability, at Jobing.com Arena, will be carried live on NHL Network and streamed on NHL.com.

For more on the Coyotes, visit Five For Howling and SB Nation Arizona.

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Phoenix Coyotes Sale: Greg Jamison, NHL Reach Tentative Deal To Keep Team In Arizona, According To Report

The Phoenix Coyotes have gone through years of drama and speculation about a move that, at one point, seemed nearly inevitable. When the team was knocked out of the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2011, their home fans stayed in the arena long after buzzer to show appreciation for a team they thought they might never see again. Now, it looks like the Coyotes will be staying in Phoenix.

Nothing has been finalized yet, but the NHL has reached a tentative deal to sell the Coyotes to a group led by Greg Jamison. The Coyotes are currently losing money in Arizona, but Jamison plans to keep them in their current home and find a way to make them profitable. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is holding a press conference on Monday, during which he is expected to announce that the league is in final negotiations with Jamison for the team's sale.

For more on the sale situation in Phoenix, check in with SB Nation Arizona and Coyotes blog Five For Howling.

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Phoenix Coyotes Sale: Glendale Moving Forward With Greg Jamison Bid, According To Report

The Phoenix Coyotes may yet stay in the desert. The Glendale City Council met on Tuesday to discuss potential bids for the team and will proceed with its preferred bid, from an ownership group led by former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison on Tuesday. The parties are nearing a deal that would sell the Coyotes and keep them in Glendale, according to the Phoenix Business Journal.

Glendale owns Phoenix's home arena, Jobing.com Arena, and has been heavily involved with the Coyotes since the NHL bought the team out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009. The NHL is seeking $170 million for the Coyotes, though a lower price could be negotiated.

Jamison's group has been close to finalizing a deal to purchase the Coyotes before, only to lose some investment money prior to the purchase. Local groups helped throw a monkey wrench in the sale of the Coyotes to a Chicago investment executive.

This time, though, the NHL is poised to seal a deal with Jamison as soon as an arena lease is worked. Perhaps this could occur as soon as during the NHL playoffs, which begin for the Coyotes on Thursday night when they host the Chicago Blackhawks.

For more on the Coyotes, visit Five For Howling.

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Phoenix Coyotes Sale: No Apparent Progress As Glendale Mayor Prepares Exit

Here's what we know about the Phoenix Coyotes sale situation right now:

  • There are groups interested in purchasing the team and keeping them in Glendale, Ariz.
  • There are plenty of groups interested in purchasing the team and moving them elsewhere, be it Quebec City, Seattle, Saskatoon or some other location.
  • The NHL wants the team to stay in Arizona -- but they're beginning to realize that might not be an option. They can't wait forever for a sale. They're still operating the team.
  • The City of Glendale needs the team to stay, thanks to a gigantic money pit of a City-owned arena that needs a regular tenant. Yet we know that until a new owner is found, Glendale is paying the NHL $25 million per season to keep the team around.

So, has there been any progress in sale negotiations? It doesn't appear that way, but according to a report in the Arizona Republic, there are at least three groups in the running to purchase the team and keep them in Glendale. Who are they?

[Coyotes President Mike] Nealy said that more than three groups are working to buy the team and keep it in Glendale, although he would not elaborate on their identities.

Former San Jose Sharks chief executive Greg Jamison's group has been working to pull together funds to buy the team. A spokesman for a second group led by ex-Arizona lawmaker John Kaites and Chicago sports magnate Jerry Reinsdorf recently said they remain interested.

The identities of the other groups are unknown.

It was reported by multiple sources in February that Jamison's group was close to a deal, but there's been nothing but curious radio silence on that front since. The recent report in the Republic states that Jamison's group is also interested in purchasing Jobing.com Arena from the City of Glendale, which likely complicates the deal quite a bit.

The Coyotes play their final regular season game on Tuesday, and with the playoff less than a certainty, the ownership situation much less than a certainty, and with interests in Seattle, Quebec City and elsewhere breathing down everybody's neck, the fear that it could be the last NHL game in Arizona is a real one.

Meanwhile, the local government leaders that put the City of Glendale into this entire mess? They're stepping down, although it does appear as though soon-to-retire Mayor Elaine Scruggs still has the support of at least some local residents.

For more on the Coyotes, including actual on-ice hockey stuff, check in with Five For Howling.

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Phoenix Coyotes Sale To Greg Jamison Nearly Complete, According To Report

Where there's smoke, there's fire, and we now have a second report confirming news that the NHL and the City of Glendale, Ariz., are close to a deal on a Phoenix Coyotes sale to an ownership group led by former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison.

Via Phoenix Business Journal, reporting essentially the same details that were reported by Dave Zorn of Metro Networks Arizona late last week, the NHL is looking to sell the team to Jamison for somewhere in the ballpark of $170 million, "in part to help the value of other franchises." The NHL purchased the team out of bankruptcy three years ago for $140 million.

A sale to Jamison's group, which reportedly includes former Coyotes star Jeremy Roenick, would keep the team in Glendale for the foreseeable future, essentially ending Coyotes relocation talks. Those talks have been loud lately thanks to the proposed arena in Seattle, which would require NHL relocation or expansion before becoming a reality.

As it stands without a sale, the City of Glendale could be on the hook for a third $25 million payment to the NHL to both cover the Coyotes' operating losses and operate the City-owned Jobing.com Arena. Or, the NHL could sell the team to one of the many interested buyers that would love to relocate them to another market.

For more on the sale situation in Phoenix, check in with SB Nation Arizona and Coyotes blog Five For Howling.

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NHL Denies Phoenix Coyotes Sale Report, Seattle Sports Fans Keeping Watchful Eye

The NHL has denied a report that the Phoenix Coyotes are ready to be sold to a group led by Greg Jamison, the former CEO of the San Jose Sharks who's been rumored to be in the ownership mix for the team since August.

Dave Zorn, a reporter for Metro Networks Arizona who's covered the Coyotes for years, shared the initial report Friday evening on Twitter.

Via KING5 in Seattle, where fans are suddenly watching the Coyotes' ownership saga with an interested eye following a new arena proposal there that's contingent on relocation of an NHL and NBA teams, the NHL says that report is false. Zorn expected as much, however, and you'll recall that the league also denied first reports that True North Sports had purchased the Atlanta Thrashers. It's safe to say they shouldn't necessarily be trusted when it comes to this stuff.

A sale of the Coyotes to Jamison would be fantastic news for Coyotes fans, who could realistically lose their team at the end of this NHL season if a new ownership situation isn't figured out. The NHL still operates the club, and that's a situation that's expected to come to a head before next season.

Jamison's group reportedly includes former Coyotes star Jeremy Roenick, who said in his Coyotes' Ring of Honor induction speech last weekend that he'd do his part to keep the hockey team in Arizona.

For Seattle fans, it's not the best news. The new arena proposal requires both an NHL team and an NBA team to be on board -- whether through relocation or expansion -- and the Coyotes certainly seem like the most likely option. If they're sold, Seattle fans will have to look elsewhere, or hope Gary Bettman's interest in the city is real and that expansion is a possibility.

For more on the potential return of hockey to Seattle, check in with SB Nation Seattle. For more on hockey that's currently being played in Phoenix, check in with Coyotes blog Five For Howling.

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Matthew Hulsizer Ends Bid To Purchase Phoenix Coyotes

Weary fans of the beleaguered Phoenix Coyotes franchise took yet another hit Monday morning in the organization's seemingly endless ownership saga. To the dismay of Glendale residents, longtime potential buyer Matthew Hulsizer has ended his bid to buy the struggling NHL team.

The Chicago businessman once seemed to be a virtual lock to purchase the Coyotes before the desert-based Goldwater Institute interfered with any plans, sinking the talks with a counterclaim regarding city funding. With the issue of relocation drawing nearer, Glendale poured in another $25 million to the NHL in an effort to ward off leering Winnipeg financiers. Surprisingly, the move worked -- at the expense of the Atlanta Thrashers -- and the city reemerged at the bargaining table with a newfound upper-hand.

An upper-hand that apparently became too much for Hulsizer to handle. According to a report in the Phoenix Business Journal, an unnamed official claimed that the Hulsizer group did not wish to sludge through another round of discussions that held no foreseeable end.

The frustration is visibly mounting in Phoenix. Despite a multi-year struggle to regain legitimacy, the franchise remains no better off than it was in the beginning of the ordeal. SB Nation Arizona explains:

We said when the $25 million extension happened and the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg that the leverage had shifted to Glendale. One can imagine that they overplayed their hands and Hulsizer has simply moved on to other targets. Or, this latest news could just be part of the process of calling Glendale's bluff. The city claims to be negotiating again with Jerry Reinsdorf and some other mysterious owner.

Somehow, it's hard to imagine we are anywhere close to resolution and that only hurts the efforts of the Coyotes to rebuild their relationship with local sports fans.

Regardless of whether the Reinsdorf connection exists as mere speculation or actual fact, it is increasingly clear that no one wins from the stagnant nature of the current situation. For further coverage on the Phoenix Coyotes' ongoing ownership saga visit SB Nation's Five For Howling.

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Phoenix Coyotes To Stay In Arizona At Least One More Year After Council Vote

The City Council in Glendale, Ariz. voted 5-2 on Tuesday night to fork over $25 million dollars to the National Hockey League to cover operating losses of the Phoenix Coyotes for the upcoming season, assuring that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, the team will stay in Arizona for at least one more season.

Of course, given the mayhem involved in this two-year long saga, there's no guarantee that things will now go smoothly from here on out.

Mayor Elaine Scruggs passionately defended the vote. The basis of her argument in extending $25 million more dollars to the NHL is that Glendale has a very real financial stake in the Coyotes and City-owned Jobing.com Arena, where the team plays.

Should the team pack up and relocate elsewhere, they're stuck with an empty building that cost them nearly $200 million to build and millions more to operate. By paying the extra $25 million, which is in addition to a similar payment given to the league just two weeks ago to cover team losses from last season, they keep people coming to the arena and the Westgate City Center near the arena.

They view it as investment, not subsidy to the league. In fact, they're getting a pretty good deal. The Coyotes lost a reported 36.6 million in 2010-11 and could lose that much or more in 2011-12.

There are legitimate gripes with the logic Scruggs and the five affirmative voters are using here, and several residents voiced their displeasure with it during the public comment portion of Tuesday's meeting. One such resident, George Sprankle, wore a pretty incredible USA flag shirt while holding a sign that said "NO NHL OR HULSIZER." Another compared the vote to socialism.

But the news is that for now, the majority of the council agrees with it, and as a result, the Coyotes are sticking around for one more season. If they can't be sold to a local buyer like Matthew Hulsizer in the next year, we'll be back here again, only relocation will be almost guaranteed in that instance.

Should that happen, the Glendale Council will have egg on their face, and that $25 million they voted to hand over tonight will be a complete waste. For now, though, they must hope that stable ownership can swoop in and keep them around to the point where they can turn a profit. 

They certainly share that hope with hockey fans in the desert. For more from those fans, check in with SB Nation Arizona and Five For Howling.

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