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Potential Coyotes buyer cautiously optimistic about landing the franchise

Apr 22, 2012, 2:07 PM EDT

Greg Jamison

While the Phoenix Coyotes look to advance to the second round of the playoffs past the Chicago Blackhawks, the talks to try and sell the team continue to roll slowly along. Potential buyer, former Sharks vice president, Greg Jamison is doing his best to keep things calm regarding the situation.

Jamison tells Lisa Halverstadt of the Arizona Republic that things are continuing to be worked on and he’s doing his best to make sure the Coyotes stay in the desert.

“We’re working at it,” Jamison told The Republic just moments before the Coyotes game on Saturday. “There’s been progress made. We are optimistic that this can get done, but this is not a guarantee that this can get done.”

Keeping things cool is for the best as the future of the team in the desert is perhaps at its most unclear state since moving to Glendale. With talk of the NHL not being eager to let this situation fester much longer to the City of Glendale’s budgetary problems potentially getting in the way, the team is under the gun to get sold if they’re going to stick around.

When comparing Jamison to past interested buyers, taking the low-profile way about things might be for the best as it keeps attention away from the team concerning the situation. If the Coyotes move on in the playoffs, they might owe Jamison a debt of gratitude for keeping the vultures away.

  1. vshehane - Apr 22, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Hoping you guys stay in the desert. To heck with the traditionalists. Hockey should allowed to flourish every where.

  2. atwatercrushesokoye - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    He’s a Bettman guy who doesn’t have the money to buy the team he’s being used simply as leverage to keep Paladeau from offering them an extreme lowball price. Bettman guaranteed NHL owners they’d get their money back from Phoenix, he needs to do all he can to try and make that happen.

    But assuming he does have financing lets take a deeper look, most reports have the Coyotes losing $25 million per year, one rumor says they lost a combined $95 million in the two seasons before this one, the Glendale council doesn’t want to keep paying for these losses (nor should they) so who in their right mind would buy this team to keep it there?

    Phoenix is gone, either to Quebec City or Seattle but there’s no chance this team will play in Glendale next year.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:52 PM

      What about the fact that neither QC nor Seattle have NHL-calibre arenas ready to go? It almost seems inevitable that the Yotes will move but KC’s the only city with an arena ready to go. Anyhoo this issue has been hashed and rehashed ad nauseum. Frankly I’m at the point where I’ll only believe anything once it happens.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Apr 22, 2012 at 5:33 PM

        QC has the former Le Colisee which seats almost 15,200 with retrofits ready to be made this summer and shovels in the ground for a new arena this fall (funds for the retro fitting and new arena are already approved) so they have that going for them. Plus they have one massive thing going for them that KC doesn’t seemingly have….a billionaire owner (with his own tv stations) who’s ready to buy the team. I might be mistaken but I don’t recall hearing of any potential KC owners.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Apr 22, 2012 at 5:56 PM

        Ah, well that would make sense. I hadn’t heard anything about them playing at Le Colisee. What is the news then on Phoenix moving to QC then? Rumors of ATL moving to Wpg were already well under way this time last year and their time was already crunched between May 31 and puckdrop for the 2011 preseason.

  3. creek0512 - Apr 22, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    An unfortunate, and sadly avoidable, string of circumstances have prevented the Coyotes from being successful in Phoenix. Obviously, the lack of success is the number 1 reason. But playing in a suburban arena in a market with a lot of transplants who are still loyal to the Northern teams they grew up with also handicap the franchises potential. It’s unfortunate because, despite what the traditionalist want to believe, the NHL needs markets like Phoenix to be successful in order to grow the sport. Having more teams in the US gets the league larger TV revenues. Right now there are teams in only 20 US markets, compared to 26 in baseball, 27 in the NBA and 31 in the NFL.

  4. vshehane - Apr 22, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    Well put Creek.

  5. lewdood - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    For the love of all things holy could someone please make this all just stop and get this failed team out of there???

    1) This guy LOST his investors and is “trying to secure new funding” to buy the team. AND, the key to his whole purchase involves the shopping area around the arena, which is currently bank-owned because it went belly-up, too.

    2) He’d still need Glendale to pony up $20m+ for “arena management fees” for the arena, which has ONE tenant — the Coyotes — who draw squat during the regular season and have to discount playoff tickets. How could the Glendale gov’t justify that kind of expense when the city is basically as bankrupt as the team?

    3) The Goldwater group will shoot down ANY governmental assistance to this or any other potential owner

    4) Quebecor is ready to move the team as soon as the season is done and get things going next season at LeColisee while they wait on the new arena to be ready by 2015 (as my fellow Bronco fan Atwater stated above).

    5, and most importantly) This team has proven it cannot work financially in Glendale, and I have to question the financial prowess of anybody who thinks they can walk into this situation, wave a magic wand, and immediately put full-paying butts in the seats there every night 41 times a season plus the playoffs. This is a total loss-maker, and the only thing I can see this guy doing is buying the team for a song with other people’s money so he can get the real estate around the rink, only to sell the team at the first opportunity to Quebecor for a profit because they suddenly need a tenant for their new arena in QC.

    If we were 5 years into the ‘Yotes existence and this was happening, I’d be all for this guy trying to make it work there, maybe even if they’d already made the foolish decision to move to Glendale. Or if the team had past financial success (in that arena) and was simply in a recent rough patch. But this disaster of a sick dog needs to be put out of its misery, especially since the ’08 housing crash destroyed the PHX economy.

    To all the ‘Yotes fans in PHX, I’m sorry that this is your reality, and I understand your support for your team and the pain you’ve been subjected to for the last 5 years as this nonsense has been constantly engulfing your team. But as a fan who watches all of my team’s (Senators) games on the Center Ice package because I live in the States, I can tell you it’s just as easy to be a fan from afar as it is in-person. And a heck of a lot cheaper.

    PS — I have no affinity to QC, other than I (ironically) always thought it sucked that they lost the Nordiques just when they were about to become a power, though I’m sure they never would have ended up with Roy if they hadn’t moved to CO.

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