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Optimism in desert: Coyotes sale on horizon, grocery clerks talking hockey

Apr 30, 2012, 5:34 PM EDT

Believe Getty Images

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before – a deal to sell the Coyotes appears imminent.

The Phoenix Business Journal reports that a sale to the group led by former Sharks CEO Greg Jamison could be approved by the NHL and city of Glendale by May 8.

According to PBJ’s sources, Jamison “has brought together the investment money necessary” to buy the club and keep it in Glendale.

If the money’s in place, presumably the next big hurdle will be getting a lease signed that a) gains the approval of city council, and b) isn’t so generous to the Coyotes that it draws the ire of the Goldwater Institute.

Meanwhile,’s Vince Marotta went to the grocery store Sunday and was “floored” when the checkout clerk struck up a conversation about the Coyotes.

I’ve lived in the Valley since 1979 and became involved in this city’s sports media in 1996 – the same year the Coyotes got to town – and this was the first time I can remember a perfect stranger engaging me in a conversation about the Phoenix Coyotes.


It’s starting to feel like Phoenix is becoming a real hockey town.

Depending how you see it, Marotta’s anecdote is either promising or kinda sad. Since we don’t like to rain on parades, we’ll go with promising.

Related: Here’s your semi-regular hopeful update on the Coyotes ownership situation

  1. rosselliott - Apr 30, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    It doesn’t matter if any potential deal draws the ire of the Goldwater Institute as they have no actual power. The only reason they had any sway with the previous deal involve Matthew Hulsizer is that their legal threats chilled the bond market (if you’ll recall, the city of Glendale were going to sell bonds to help pay for the financing of the deal…)

    As for the grocery clerk anecdote, a fan base has to start somewhere… Phoenix is not a huge hockey market, but the more interest they generate among the casual fan is only a good thing for the city, the market and the long term prospects of hockey in the desert (which, as the NHL and NBC will tell you, is a good thing…CBC and TSN, maybe not so much.)

    • Jason Brough - Apr 30, 2012 at 6:42 PM

      It probably does matter actually. If Goldwater deems the lease a de facto subsidy, it could threaten to sue and Jamison could walk.

  2. pavelfitzgerald - Apr 30, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Clearly kinda sad. I’m sorry but the fact that people are jumping on the bandwagon 15 years after the fact is no indication that they will continue to care. The fact that this is a story shows how awful of a market Phoenix has been

    • wisbadgers - Apr 30, 2012 at 6:34 PM

      Shocker that pavelfitzgerald would troll into this post.
      Don’t forget to keep the lights on, don’t want you to get scared!!!!

  3. xaf605 - Apr 30, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    The fake coyote fans will come and go just like their team

  4. pavelfitzgerald - Apr 30, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    I didn’t realize that telling the truth was considered “trolling”. Your still pissed off that you got called out for being an idiot when you said the Jets lost $5.2 million, was asked for a link & provided a link from when they were the Thrashers .. .. This after the league announced that Winnipeg would not qualify for revenue sharing because they were in the top 15 for revenue, despite being in the smallest market. You my idiot, are the troll

    • wisbadgers - Apr 30, 2012 at 9:15 PM

      Uhm, whatever makes you sleep at night. They lost 5.2 million this season. If you don’t want to believe it, that’s fine. I have no agenda with the Jets, in fact, I was a fan of the Jets in their previous incarnation. It’s cause of all the crappy contracts they’re stuck with from their Thrasher days but none the less, they lost money.
      If calling me an idiot makes you feel better at night, go ahead.
      Having a conversation about hockey is fun, especially with passionate fans, which we both obviously are. But if you want to resort to childish antics, such as name calling….fine, you win, kid. I really don’t need the drama in my life or on the boards. I’ll save the drama for my own kids, not the kids on this site.

      Anyways, enjoy the playoffs, I know I am!!!

      • guitarmy204 - Apr 30, 2012 at 11:16 PM

        again that article was from November 2011.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - May 1, 2012 at 10:38 AM

        Mr. Wisbadgers, with all due respect, even if the Jets lost 5.2 mil this season, the Coyotes lost an even greater 20.1 mil and is the least valuable team in the NHL, if I’m to go by the Forbes comparison that you drew your information from. How much success is it going to take before Phoenixians (Phoenixites? Phoenicians?) start to give a rat’s a** about the team? It’s great that you can fill an arena in the playoffs (unlike the Panthers, which absolutely baffles me) but if people only show up during the playoffs and not during successful regular season campaigns, then I’m sorry but the team ought to move where they are appreciated. It makes sense from a fan standpoint and a business standpoint. I’m all for bringing teams to non-traditional markets, and I do think it’s awesome that Nashville and San Jose have so strongly embraced their teams, but at some point enough is enough when folks don’t show up.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - May 1, 2012 at 10:49 AM

        Btw, when are you guys gonna make up your own traditions instead of still using Winnipeg’s White-out?

  5. guitarmy204 - Apr 30, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    The only way anyone would buy this team is free money and some sort of out clause so they can move them

  6. herbiecane - Apr 30, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    As a fan in a “non-traditional” market (Raleigh), I watched playoff success grow a fan base here. Then grocery clerks ARE talking hockey. Everybody is. That’s how a fan base grows. See us. Then see…Atlanta.
    Go Coyotes!

    • lostpuppysyndrome - May 1, 2012 at 2:40 PM

      Grocery clerks were also talking about the Minnesota Lynx around here when they won the WNBA championship last year too. That came and went pretty fast.

  7. blanchonegro - Apr 30, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    I live in AZ & its true this is the first year the Coyotes are getting attention and man are they getting lots of it. AZ is on FIRE about this team. GO YOTES!!!

  8. keeepaa - Apr 30, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    (WIN, CALG, VAN, ***SEATTLE***, EDM),
    (SJ, LA, ANA, COL, DAL)

    When FLA moves to Quebec, the South East becomes (WA, TAMPA, CAR, NASH, STL), Northeast (QUE, MTL, OTT, TOR, BOS), North (CBUS, BUF, DET, CHI, MIN)

  9. pavelfitzgerald - Apr 30, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Hey Mike, I get it’s a slow day, your doing your job & just trying to stir up conversation but I just didn’t think the Russians were overwhelming. You were actually just building on the article that was written. Just my way of respectfully disagreeing. By the way, I think it’s awesome that you guys interact with the commentators. Keep up the good work !!

  10. pavelfitzgerald - Apr 30, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Ignore my last post, meant it for the Mike Smith post.

    • 1desertfan - May 1, 2012 at 3:23 PM

      Wow Hater, you feel you need to put down the Yotes in multiple posts and can’t keep them straight!! Mike Smith is a little busy right now, maybe you should chat with your goalie … Crawford? or wait till next week when Rinne frees up. So much hate …

  11. herbiecane - Apr 30, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Of course this hasn’t happened in PHX before. Why would it?
    But I know this- the fans they have had are LOVING this. So good for them.
    Plus I’m happy for the ex-Hurricanes (Vrbata and Whitney).
    PS- this Mike Smith is NOT the Tampa Mike Smith! I miss the Tampa Mike Smith. He sucked. Just sayin.

  12. blanchonegro - May 1, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    @lostpuppy I believe Penn St started the White Out. Im not saying, Im just saying!

  13. herbiecane - May 1, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Let Phoenix enjoy this.
    Does that mean they’ll sell out the regular season next year? No. But they will sell more.
    It’s never guaranteed, but success can lead to more success.
    Winnipeg sells them all out- hooray for Winnipeg!
    Any rational human being has to concede that Arizonans have a few more entertainment options in February than your average Winnipegger (?). Things like golf and boating and not freezing to death. Not mention an NFL team, an NBA team, and major college team.
    Winnipeg has….ice fishing?
    Don’t get wrong- walleye are awesome. But come on, man.
    Apples and oranges.

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