Coyotes owner George Gosbee says ‘five-year out clause frustrating’

Aug 6, 2013, 3:15 AM | Updated: 3:15 am

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The NHL officially approved the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes to the IceArizona ownership group headed by Anthony LeBlanc and George Gosbee on Monday, ending an over four-year saga of playing without an owner.

The key to the deal was a 15-year lease contract to run Jobing.com Arena with the City of Glendale, which was agreed upon in July.

However, there is a down side to the deal and that is the five-year out clause that would give IceArizona the option to relocate the Coyotes in the event the team is still losing money.

One of the investors of the IceArizona group, George Gosbee, went on the Dan Bickley with Vince Marotta Show Monday to discuss the out clause.

“That five-year clause is frustrating now,” Gosbee said. “Over time people will realize we are here to stay.

“Our business plan did not factor in relocation, our focus is to build a successful franchise in Glendale. We are financial investors and have to protect ourselves, but we think it’s highly unlikely based on our business plan.”

The Coyotes have already started a “Here to Stay” marketing approach, as well as announced a future change of the team’s name to the Arizona Coyotes.

“Our focus going forward is to market a “Here to Stay” campaign,” Gosbee stated. “We are not going anywhere and came into this with the goal of building a winning organization.”

On the ice, the Coyotes have given new contracts to general manager Don Maloney, head coach Dave Tippett and goalie Mike Smith, which should give IceArizona a good team on the ice that can help draw fans to the arena.

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