PHOENIX — The ownership reigns of the Arizona Coyotes may yet again be changing hands.
The New York Post reported Andrew Barroway, who has attempted to purchase two National Hockey League franchises in the past, is in “advanced negotiations” for the controlling share of the Coyotes.
The sale of the troubled franchise, which has been in financial distress even prior to moving from downtown Phoenix to Glendale in 2003-04 after previously relocating from Winnipeg for the 1996-97 season, is expected to be completed within the month.
The Post also reported the Coyotes lost $24 million last year, which is not good news for the franchise.
The franchise responded the report by issuing a statement:
In response to media reports today, the Arizona Coyotes can confirm that IceArizona has been in discussions with an unsolicited potential investor who is interested in joining the partnership. This should be viewed as an incredibly positive development and is due to the successful first year of IceArizona’s ownership. This is all about the long-term stability and viability of the franchise in Arizona. By no means are any members of the current IceArizona group departing the ownership. While there has been no confirmation of any transaction, this is something that the current ownership group is exploring.
The Desert Dogs were purchased by IceArizona, a group of primarily Canadian businessmen, last summer. It agreed to a deal with the city of Glendale that would allow the group to terminate the lease at the newly-renamed Gila River Arena should it lose $50 million in the first five years.
However, there is good news. The Post said Barroway wants to purchase 51 percent of the team valued at $305 million, a significant jump over last season’s full purchase price of $170 million. IceArizona would retain 49 percent control of the team.