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Coyotes president: “I still retain optimism”

Jul 17, 2012, 9:25 PM EDT

Los Angeles Kings v Phoenix Coyotes - Game Two Getty Images

Phoenix Coyotes president Mike Nealy admits that there’s been some “zigging and zagging” as the team tries to complete a sale to Greg Jamison. Still, he told Lisa Halverstadt that “Coyotes staffers are hopeful” even as they prepare for a fourth season without an owner.

“I still retain optimism and I don’t think that’s foolish optimism,” Nealy said. ““It’s still moving forward … It’s zigging and zagging a bit but Greg Jamison is still working toward the ultimate resolution with the public issues that are out there. At the end of the day, the league is still interested in keeping the team here.”

One possible reason for that positivity is improving box office numbers. Nealy passed along word to Halverstadt that the team is setting franchise records for ticket sales and renewals, although exact amounts weren’t provided.

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  1. atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 17, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Well they averaged 12,420 fans per game last year, not sure how many were season tickets, so obviously any increase is a good thing. I’ve been quite vocal that this team should relocate BUT as long as Bettman insists on keeping them there I hope that things improve for them, who knows maybe one day they can get it turned around.

  2. jernster21 - Jul 17, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    At least they’ll be collecting the money on the seats that will still remain empty at least half of the home game season.

    • freneticgarfieldfan - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:32 AM

      but that’s a good business model – see Toronto in the second half of the season ;-)

  3. blomfeld - Jul 18, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    ‘I STILL RETAIN OPTIMISM”

    Officers on board RMS Titanic were reported to have uttered the same words to worrisome passengers, as much as an hour “after” striking the iceberg. This entire enterprise in the desert is completely “foolhardy” and ultimately doomed to fail … and those of us who have either lived or worked in Phoenix, know that only too well. For some reason, Bettman “drew a line in the sand” down there in the land of scorpions and 115 degree temperatures ? While I understand what his initial aims may have been, surely today he can wake up to smell the coffee too ? … at least one would think ? If he doesn’t change course pretty quick, then Bettman’s Phoenix will prove to be no different than Hitler’s Stalingrad or Napoleon’s Waterloo …

  4. fortwaynekomets - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    Phoenix hockey is at it climax right now with the Coyotes recent amazing run at the Cup. they came up short but played exciting hockey and it would be a crime to not seize the moment the franchise has right now. make some moves!!

  5. comeonnowguys - Jul 18, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    So record sales for them? Dare we dream for 27th in attendance this year? Perish the thought!

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 18, 2012 at 5:52 PM

      I think 30th but a little closer to 29th would be about as big as they can dream

  6. acieu - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    I generally support Bettman but this farce has gone on long enough. There seems to be little real interest in Phoenix for the Coyotes and a heavy even if minority of dedicated opposition. In economics sunk costs are just that gone. Move the team to Quebec and get on with life. At some point in time the NHL will benefit when the marginal markets are closed if there aren’t investors willing to take the loss. Obviously the economic model in Phoenix doesn’t project profits or perhaps even break even for an owner without enormous local govt subsidy. A capable Commissioner would make the tough decision in fact some time ago.

  7. lonespeed - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    I still retain optimism we’ll stop having to hear about the Phoenix Coyote’s economic issues. How come we don’t hear of these issues from any other NHL team, but year-in and year-out it remains a problem in Phoenix? What’s going to happen when the team goes through some lean years?

    Maybe the league should pay attention to the obvious. Hockey doesn’t belong in Phoenix, Arizona.

  8. cweez2 - Jul 18, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    Patience, mes amis…

    – Citizens of Québec City

  9. scrouch - Jul 18, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    It’s good for them to be optimistic about the situation, but it’s mid-July and they’re still working on the sale. The lease agreement’s approved and Glendale rejected a referendum on it, so what’s the hold up? As the new Jets owners showed last summer, it actually doesn’t take much time at all to purchase a team. With no one on the hook to cover the team’s losses next season, eventually they’ll either need the sale to go through, or will need to figure out how and if the team is going to be able to opperate next year if it hasn’t sold. It’s far too late to move it before next season and Glendale hasn’t approved any money to cover losses. It’s even getting pretty late to fold the franchise and have a dispersion draft. One way or another you’ve gottta think this needs to come to a resolution really quick.

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