NHL, Potential Phoenix Coyotes Buyers Meet With Glendale City Officials
NHL executives and potential buyers of the Phoenix Coyotes met with officials of the city of Glendale, Arizona, on Tuesday to lay out their plans for the team.
The group of investors, led by Canadian businessmen George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc, are negotiating with the League to purchase the team with the intent of keeping it in Glendale. The investors group, Renaissance Sports & Entertainment, is negotiating with city officials to secure a management and lease agreement for city-owned Jobing.com Arena, where the Coyotes play.
“We had a number of constructive meetings today with the Mayor, various members of the City Council and the acting city manager,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. “Everyone involved in today’s discussions shares the desire and ultimate objective of transitioning the ownership of the Coyotes and safeguarding the franchise’s long-term future in Glendale. We expect that representatives from the Renaissance group will begin meeting with the city to see if a mutually agreeable lease arrangement can be forged expeditiously.
“We will have no further comment pending completion of that process.”
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Daly and representatives of the buyers group had four meetings with Mayor Jerry Weiers, interim city manager Dick Bowers and with two groups of three city council members.
Weiers said no decision was imminent.
“The City Council will not be making a decision regarding the Coyotes until all pertinent information has been collected and reviewed and all the available options have been thoroughly studied,” Weiers said in a statement released by the city’s communications department. “This includes several bids the city is expected to receive this Friday from qualified venue managers interested in operating the city-owned Jobing.com Arena.
“Glendale is committed to moving forward on a plan that is in the best interests of our city and our citizens.”
The NHL has owned the Coyotes since buying the franchise out of bankruptcy in 2009. Several potential ownership deals have faltered before conclusion; LeBlanc was part of an investment group called Ice Edge Holdings that sought to purchase the team between 2009 and 2010.
Earlier this spring, the city sought bids from management firms interested in operating the arena. The deadline is Friday for the bidding process, which is open to potential Coyotes owners and non-owners. The Renaissance group is expected to want to operate the arena, as the other team owners have done in the past.
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