Friday, April 13, 2012

Greg Jamison Selected By City of Glendale To Potentially, Maybe, Possibly Own Coyotes

Coyotes potential mystery owner?
You may have heard about former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison by now.  He wants to own the NHL franchise in the desert, the Phoenix Coyotes.  As did Matthew Hulsizer, and the Ice Edge group, etc., etc...  And, just in case no one remembers the early part of this month, the mayor of Glendale is fed up with the NHL because they make too much money or something.

We already know why it's good for the "plan of the league" for the Coyotes to stay in Glendale (stability, spread the game, etc.), but we all know the problems that can and have caused problems in the past.  It's a cautionary tale, to be sure.  Just look past the first couple of lines from AZ Central's write-up at the chronology of the situation in Glendale.

From AZ Central:

Even Glendale's long-supportive mayor's faith is cracking as she stares down as much as a $30 million deficit in the city's budget for next year.Even if the framework of a deal is released this month, as Beasley says, finalizing a deal takes longer and in the past has proved elusive 
The Coyotes' ownership has hung in limbo since 2009, when the National Hockey League bought the team at a bankruptcy auction. For three straight years, the team has battled in the playoffs and potential owners have come and gone. 
Beasley's timeline offers a glimmer of hope, but the council in past years has approved preliminary agreements with at least three groups. Financing problems crippled two of the deals. Another bidder abandoned his deal. 
Mayor Elaine Scruggs, who has for years preached the benefits of keeping the Coyotes in Glendale, said Jamison's deal is the best the city has seen in its three-year search.But the group has struggled in the past to line up financing, she said.If the issues remain, a lack of funds could again trip up a deal.Tight finances are impacting Glendale, too. The city can't afford to buy more time with the Coyotes.The city has twice pledged $25 million to the NHL to keep the Coyotes in Glendale, the second bill coming due as soon as next month.The payouts have strained the city. Leaders now weigh staff furloughs, service cuts and a sales-tax hike amid a steep deficit in the upcoming year's budgets.

Along with the actual news reporting (i.e. Jamison chosen by Glendale), comes the stark reminder of the past, or a look into the future, as well.  As promising as the other deals looked, they failed, and now we have a possible Jamison deal that might happen, or it might not.

A fascinating development to come from this situation are the parties interested in owning an NHL franchise.  The city decided not to (possibly) go with Jim Treliving, part owner of the Boston Pizza chains, and who may or may not be the Canadian group that sought ownership of the franchise.  He is a name with his hat in the ring, though, or he wouldn't be getting any press.  They also spurned a mystery international investment group which I can only imagine is someone with access to Jim Balsillie's Swiss bank account (I certainly would like to know more about this international group, and I think we can all agree with Wyshynski on that front).

I would be surprised if we don't know how this will play out before June.  If it lasts past that point, let's say until July 1st, that means the Coyotes have to remain in Glendale for another year (due to scheduling concerns, etc.) AND/OR the NHL either still owns them or Jamison's group owns them.  The NHL wants the latter, of course.

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