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Glendale mayor: Bettman called to say the NHL isn’t giving up on Coyotes

Jan 31, 2013, 5:34 PM EDT

Gary Bettman AP

Even if Greg Jamison is unable to close on his purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes by the end of the day — and it doesn’t appear he’ll be able — the NHL is going to keep working to find a solution that doesn’t involve moving the franchise out of Glendale.

That was the message commissioner Gary Bettman communicated to Glendale mayor Jerry Weiers via telephone this morning, per USA Today.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly struck a similar tone in an email to the Arizona Republic.

“Regardless of what may or may not happen tonight, the Coyotes will still be playing here tomorrow and our objectives will remain the same,” Daly said.

Still, Weiers is adamant that, once the day is done, the 20-year arena management deal that was considered vital to completing the sale of the Coyotes to Jamison is off the table.

“If we can keep the Coyotes here and have a successful team and have people spending money, certainly I’d want that, but not with the deal that was made with the previous council,” Weiers said.

Whether the NHL will be able to find another ownership group that’s willing to keep the team in Glendale without the arena-management deal that Jamison managed to negotiate, we’ll have to wait and see.

At this point, it seems unlikely. But as hockey fans have come to learn, the next chapter in the Coyotes saga is impossible to predict.

  1. atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 31, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    Just watching Prime Time Sports and John Shannon (who’s very plugged into the NHL inner circle) revealed that Jamison had possible investors but they backed out because Jamison refused to put in any money himself. He also said it’s believed Jamison is worth less than $5 million dollars.

    However he did say he thinks the Coyotes aren’t going anywhere, and that possible owners might come out next week, one name mentioned was Jim Treliving.

    • wisbadgers - Jan 31, 2013 at 7:11 PM

      His son, Brad works for the Coyotes. He’s an assistant to the GM (Don Maloney).

  2. jimw81 - Jan 31, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    in other words, Seattle or bust

  3. soj83 - Jan 31, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    i’m hearing that Bettman is looking into moving all original 6 teams to Phoenix also

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 31, 2013 at 10:14 PM

      Mon Dieu!! Les Phoenix Canadiens?? But share the joy, eh, make it the Flagstaff Maple Leafs, Tucson Red Wings, Prescott Bruins, Yuma Rangers and Grand Canyon Blackhawks!!

      • barkar942 - Feb 1, 2013 at 1:25 AM

        Can it be the Williams Rangers? Williams is a really cool town! Loved the train ride to the Grand Canyon!

      • sporkov - Feb 2, 2013 at 9:46 PM

        Even as a Coyotes fan that is funny! But, I think the Rangers should play at the Grand Canyon.

  4. dbara43 - Jan 31, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Yeah, those must be the same “whale” owners just waiting in the wings to bid on the Sacramento Kings and keep the team in town. Keep waiting!

  5. dbara43 - Jan 31, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Any statement about a committment to Glendale is just to keep the 5,000 or so Coyotes fans coming ot the areana. Means nothing. The franchise has failed.

  6. heynow33 - Jan 31, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    Judging by the constant “interests” in anything “Coyotes” related. Its tells the world how much love the NHL has. This to these “fans” are more exciting than anything on “ice” Being that more people will watch a “superbowl” commercial than 20 plus years combined of any Stanley Cup finals tells me the “NHL” is not something any sports fan should be interested in.

    • thailer35 - Jan 31, 2013 at 6:41 PM

      blomfeld? Is that “you”?

      • heynow33 - Jan 31, 2013 at 6:49 PM

        No not me. I just thought it was “odd” all of the attention on something that makes no difference to true “fans”. I don’t see “Yankee” fans wishing the demise of the Blue Jays unless the “Yankees” aren’t worth paying attention to in the first place. I grew up in the DC area, nobody have gave any attention to the “Caps” and never will.

      • govtminion - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:11 AM

        I don’t know, I was in Verizon Center a few nights ago- unless there was some other reason for 18,000 people to all be wearing red in the arena that night, I think your assessment of the Caps might be just a tad off.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jan 31, 2013 at 8:39 PM

      Stop using quotation marks incorrectly. It makes you look like an even bigger idiot.

  7. oquintero99 - Jan 31, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    I have no idea why the NHL is so interested in keeping the Coyotes in Phoenix. I’m starting to think that some onwers may have some real estate in that area that they would develop at some point in the future and generate more than the value of the Phx franchise.

    • DTF31 - Jan 31, 2013 at 6:47 PM

      I almost feel that the NHL needs them to be a money pit to help artificially lower the cap or something and make life easier on the teams below the Mason Dixon line.

      I can’t think of any other reason when they could recoup their losses by selling/relocating or folding/expanding and have greater overall revenue if the team was somewhere else even like Seattle or Milwaukee.

    • badintent - Feb 1, 2013 at 1:31 AM

      THE KHL wants to put a team there.Bettman had to draw a line in the sand

  8. guitarmy204 - Jan 31, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    I’m interested in owning the Coyotes and keeping them in Phoenix as long as the NHL and Glendale give me $75 million a year to do it

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 31, 2013 at 10:17 PM

      Hey, shove off pal, I’ll do it for $70 million!

      • axisofweasels - Jan 31, 2013 at 11:57 PM

        i’ll do it for 10 mins with shane doan’s wife.

        yowzar

  9. tampabayirish - Jan 31, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    It is more than a little odd the great lengths the NHL has gone to try and keep a team in Arizona despite the economic failure of the franchise. My guess is that Bettman does not want to be called out on the failure (at least in Arizona) of his “Southern Strategy.” We are doing ok here in Tampa Bay. 4 home games thus far, 4 sellouts. With the Jets and Rangers coming in this weekend, you can add two more sellouts to the ledger. It helps to have a good team and a good owner in Jeff Vinik.

    • heynow33 - Jan 31, 2013 at 7:37 PM

      tampabayirish, I’m Irish also can’t you see why you can’t understand the writing. Once the NHL accepted the 50 million dollar (total) payments from Glendale they were committed to keep the team there.

      • badintent - Feb 1, 2013 at 1:34 AM

        Did the Kennedys kill anyone in the last 10 minutes? Did they spring Whity ?

  10. Jackson Scofield - Jan 31, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    FACT: Phoenix average attendance this year, albeit small sample size, is lower than lowest MLS team attendance. FACT: The Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League have a higher average attendance. FACT: Phoenix is undeserving of an NHL franchise, and it isn’t a viable market and as long as they stay there, they will continue to run huge deficits.

    • heynow33 - Jan 31, 2013 at 8:04 PM

      FACT: average NFL team worth more than “most” NHL teams.

      FACT NFL gets higher ratings than any NHL team.

      FACT: “bottom feeder” NBA teams worth more than so called “high profit” NHL teams, what is your point?

      FACT: more people will watch the “Super Bowl” than any Stanley Cup final ever, in total period.

      Not good “FACTS” for the NHL

      eh?

      • Jackson Scofield - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:37 AM

        You are comparing it’s upper end to the most popular sports leagues in the country. What I’m saying is that teams in leagues generally laughed at are doing better than Phoenix is.

  11. goalie007 - Jan 31, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    2 words – Quebec City

    • badintent - Feb 1, 2013 at 1:37 AM

      we have more than enough hockey riots in Montreal, don’t need another french canadian city having them too

  12. heynow33 - Jan 31, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    To futher “Jackson Scoffield”

    “Manu U” of Premiere league is worth many, many, many, many times more than the so called “big fish” of the NHL. AKA Maple leafs. And “Man U” actually have more viewers world wild. Thanks, “Jackson” you mad all my points crystal clear.

  13. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 31, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    “Who in their right mind would ever invest in that franchise?”

    Leafs intermission panel summing this situation up nicely.

  14. thehighcountrybear - Jan 31, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    Ask any Canadian without a Brits heritage to name two starters on Man U, and you can count on pulling a blank. We stick to the National Ballet when in need of diving prancers, thank you verrrrry much….

  15. flyeredup - Jan 31, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    A 2nd team in Philly would double the attendance in Phoenix. Bulldoze that forsaken recession laden city.

  16. pavelfitzgerald - Jan 31, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    Comparing the “Coyotes” to the “Blue Jays” is like comparing the “Coyotes” to the “Blue Jays” – the “Blue Jays” actually spend & make money. The “Coyotes” simply don’t.
    Your “opinins” already “make you” look like an “idiot”. Over using & incorrectly using “quotations” confirms that

  17. vstar1us - Jan 31, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    Well, as you all can see Hockey is great sport and a wonderful game! The one thing is they have teams where they don’t belong. The NHL wants to keep putting out a crap product just so it can try to recoup the money lost on the stupid lock out.

  18. tmoore4075 - Feb 1, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    Sorry if I’m a little hesitant to believe there are other potential owners who would do better than Jamison. IF there are, than why the hell didn’t they step up before? If they are going to be the saviors then why did they even go with Matthew Hulsizer 2 years ago? He didn’t have the money. I’m not going to believe anything anyone says on this subject because they have been saying the same stuff for years now. It’s time to just say it’s over. Sorry to any of the Coyotes fans out there, but this has gone on for far too long.

    • sporkov - Feb 2, 2013 at 9:52 PM

      Hate to say you are right, but you are probably right, they are not likely to stay and it has gone on for too long. As a Coyotes fan I will keep hoping that they stay, but that is not likely unless Bettman forces the situation.

  19. dmccarrie - Feb 1, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    What is the fascination in keeping this team in Glendale? They can’t say they haven’t made a best effort to do at this point. They’d probably be making alot more money someplace else…is this an ego thing? Does the NHL not like successful franchises? I don’t get it.

    • tmoore4075 - Feb 1, 2013 at 9:44 AM

      I understand fighting Balsille back in 09. They didn’t like how he went about trying to get the team. Then still playing there in 10-11 I understood cause they thought they were making progress in a sale. However, all the groups Reinsdorf, Ice Edge and Hulsizer all either wanted concessions by the city/league, didn’t have the money or wanted a damn sweet deal so it didn’t happen. Maybe they were ok with keeping them there when the city agreed to cover the losses yet again for 11-12, because if they moved them, Atlanta would have still been there without on owner and no where to go and in Glendale they at least had someone paying the bills. They might have had to actually contract the Thrashers if the Coyotes moved to Winnipeg. Now, while they don’t have a completed arena in any of the possible cities, they have arenas on the way in Seattle, Quebec and seems like Toronto. And in the first two cities can play in old buildings for a few years if needed.

      • dprouse - Feb 1, 2013 at 10:48 AM

        Even in Greater Toronto, a team could play out of Copps Coliseum in Hamilton for a couple of years until a new building is ready. Still, there’s no way the NHL wants a team to move to Southern Ontario – they’ll make that an expansion market, pocketing a $500 million expansion fee booty to be divided up amongst the owners.

      • tmoore4075 - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:29 AM

        They could play in Copps but I don’t think they will and won’t need to because of what you just said. They can expand there (GTA) and make a killing. The piece TSN did 2-3 years ago about “Why Not Canada?” that looked at a bunch of cities broke it down nicely. And the one on Toronto had an interesting stat. At time time roughtly 800,000 fans in the GTA who considered themselves die hard hockey fans were unable to see one NHL game. The appetite in Southern Ontario is there and within the next few years the NHL will be there.

  20. wingz101 - Feb 1, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    This whole Phoenix story is really starting to smell fishy. It’s hard to understand the obsession and believing its about TV rights doesn’t really fly anymore. It is a market that can’t support hockey at the NHL level plain and simple.

    I could see it work for the AHL but not the NHL – but having said that between 1960 and 2013 Phoenix has had failed franchises in ECHL, WHL, PHL, CHL and the WHA. Why anyone thought NHL would fly is a real mystery.

    Now on top of everything you have the new CBA with a very high floor. It’s not a good CBA for a team that has a miserable revenue stream like the Coyotes. And when the front man for a deal is a small pockets guy like Jamison (personal worth under 10 million) you know that the NHL is really scraping the bottom of the barrell for investors.

    I think they ride out the year but mostly likely they are off to Seattle soon after.

  21. dprouse - Feb 1, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Keeping the Coyotes in place is all about preserving expansion money. If you move them to one of the more viable expansion markets, you are taking about $10 million or more in found money out of the pockets of every owner in the league. I’m not saying I like it, but that is one of the primary motivators for Bettman and the owners to keep the Coyotes afloat.

  22. ndrick731 - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    There is only one reason why Bettman wants to keep Phoenix the two Florida franchises and Nashville going. That’s because he wants to expand and he doesn’t want profitable markets dried up by teams transferring to those markets. Gary Bettman is a disease.

  23. rohlo - Feb 1, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Honestly if it doesnt end up working out in phoenix then move them to houston texas.houston is the largest market and populated city without an nhl team. 8million people city limits and surrounding metro footprint.large media tv market for money and a state of the art arena in the toyota center.houston has supported the ihl houston aeros for over a decade now.there is no state income tax and low taxes for buisness entities.rockets owner les alexander had actually bought the edmonton oilers when they were having problems he gave edmonton a chance to get new ownership to keep them there with th eir tradition before moving them to houston and becoming the houston oilers.it was clSsy of him to do that.houston would be a great place for an nhl team.

    I think seattle would to imo .I dont understand why there are a lot of nhl teams in small tv markets in the league.cities like houston, seattle, san diego etc all have big markets versus the small markets of nashville, columbus,tampa bay….

  24. fiddytucker - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    I like lamp

  25. Jeff - Feb 1, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    C’mon man! Contract the NHL!

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