For past articles on the Phoenix Coyotes, please go HERE.
First of all, it’s great to finally be back. My computer problems are still persisting, but thankfully I now have a loaner laptop in my possession that will allow me to return to updating SportVotes.
In the two weeks since my last update on the subject, the situation in Arizona between the NHL, the Glendale City Council, and prospective Coyotes-owner Matthew Hulsizer on one side and the Goldwater Institute, a conservative taxpayers advocacy group, on the other, has continued to deteriorate. The Glendale City Council had previously threatened to sue Goldwater and a number of other individuals should their attempts to block the sale of municipal bonds lead to the relocation of the Coyotes, but that threat has appeared to be mere posturing as weeks have since past with no actual move on this front. Since then, the Goldwater Institute has apparently dug their heels on the matter and continued their efforts to warn potential bonds buyers about the questionable legality of the deal.
These moves have so seriously threatened the sale of the bonds, integral to allowing a new ownership group being able to buy the team and keep them in Arizona without absorbing exorbitant amounts of debt, that Glendale and Hulsizer have come hat in hand offering additional millions of dollars in guarantees for taxpayers to make the offer more appealing. However, Goldwater is still convinced that the basic arrangement behind the proposed deal violates the state constitution, so they are not backing down. NHL and Glendale officials have been trying their best to downplay the severity of Goldwater’s continued actions and threat to sue, but they are desperately worried. Gary Bettman, the commissioner of the NHL, is on the verge of facing an outright owner’s revolt against him for failing to sell the Coyotes that has proved to be a massive burden on the league’s coffers, and Glendale has even gotten vocal support from powerful U.S. Senator John McCain to speak on their behalf to Goldwater.
And they have good reason to be worried. The NHL’s and Hulsizer’s patience is limited, and at a certain point one or both will simply back out rather than continue to lose face. Should that happen, there can be no denying that the Coyotes would be forced to relocate, likely as early as next season, a fact that has absolutely delighted Winnipeggers due to the likelihood that they are the prohibitive favorites to land the team in the event of a new ownership group buying the team and moving them elsewhere. And, to date, there is no indication that Glendale is at all willing to drop their objections to the deal.
As per usual, more news on this as it becomes available. And you’d better believe that it will be coming relatively soon. The status quo cannot be sustained in the desert for long.