For the second time in less than a year and a half, the Arizona Coyotes have a new majority owner.
Andrew Barroway, a hedge-fund manager from Philadelphia, purchased 51 percent of the team from IceArizona on New Year’s Eve. Barroway assumes controlling interest of the team, while the former group remains on board, albeit in a lesser role.
The big question Coyotes fans have about the ownership change revolves around the future of the team in the Valley. The team’s lease agreement with the city of Glendale includes an opt-out clause after the 2017-18 season should the team lose $50 million or more.
“Nothing to worry about,” Barroway told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Friday. “We’re thrilled to be here.
“We believe in the market. We are going to have success in the Valley and I urge all the fans to come out and support the club.”
Beyond Barroway’s belief in the market, he believes the Coyotes are better off financially now than when they were owned by the NHL.
“Everything is trending positively for the team on the business side,” Barroway said. “Corporate sales are up, ticket sales are up and we’re thrilled to be here in Arizona and we want to win.”
Under IceArizona, the Coyotes had several owners with varying degrees of stake in the team. Adding a majority owner allows for a final destination for all decisions.
“Ultimately the buck stops with me, but I’m going to consult my other partners as well,” Barroway said. “Ultimately, I need to accept both the praise and the blame.”
Focus now turns to the on-ice product. The Coyotes have the third-worst record in the league, sitting at 14-19-4. In all likelihood, Arizona will miss the playoffs for a third consecutive season.
Barroway’s addition to the ownership group is expected to bring an influx of cash into the team, which could help the Coyotes compete long term.
“Financially we’re injecting a huge amount of money into the club, both to run the team and to build the organization,” Barroway said.
Money is one thing, finding the right fits is another.
“We will have some financial flexibility and we want to add the right players at the right time,” Barroway said. “We don’t want just Band-Aid fixes, though. We want to build a winner long term.”
Barroway gave his support to general manager Don Maloney and head coach Dave Tippett, saying they are the right guys to turn the Coyotes around.