NHL, Coyotes announce tentative deal to sell team
The Coyotes ownership saga looks like it finally is coming to an end.
At a Monday press conference prior to Game 5 of the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs between the Phoenix Coyotes and Nashville Predators, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that a deal had been struck to sell the team to former San Jose Sharks owner Greg Jamison.
"Basically, the status of things is we have an understanding with Greg Jamison that we are going to proceed with he and his group to reach a formal agreement for the purchase and sale of the Coyotes," said Bettman.
Both Bettman and Jamison said they hope to have the deal completed and signed within weeks, compared to months.
In a statement emailed after the press conference, the city of Glendale said they are pleased with the announcement and look forward to working with Jamison.
"Based upon this new development from the NHL, the city will continue working with Mr. Jamison to finalize a lease agreement for Jobing.com Arena and looks forward to bringing that agreement to the Glendale City Council," the release said. "In the meantime, today's decision is a critical step to maintain the long-term presence of hockey in Glendale."
Jamison said he became interested in the Coyotes a while ago and feels like the organization has done a lot of the hard work that was needed to get the team moving forward and attendance up. He also mentioned that his group would like to focus on seat and suite sales along with attracting more sponsors.
"I've been watching [the Coyotes ownership situation], I know it's had some struggles and I would like to find out more about it," said Jamison of his interest. "We came down and visited and we made a decision that we would like to go forward with a group."
When asked if the Goldwater Institute could interfere with the situation, Bettman responded that he did not feel the organization would need to raise any complaints over the new deal, but that they would deal with the situation when necessary.
The Goldwater Institute said it's interested in looking at the deal. It stopped a sale of the Coyotes to Chicago businessman Mathew Hulsizer by threatening to sue because the city of Glendale would have sold bonds to buy parking rights. The Institute claimed that was an illegal subsidy of a private business.
The Coyotes had been without an owner since 2009, when then- owner Jerry Moyes put the team into Chapter 11 in an attempt to sell the team to Jim Balsillie. The NHL blocked that move.
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