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Devils Dose

Sale of Phoenix may finally be here

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If it wasn't a Quebec-based source who is reporting that some Quebecois might buy the team, I would think the stories about Quebec are NHL plants to scare up more money from Glendale. I think this is the last chance for any buyer to keep the team local, because the NHL owners can't like losing money on this team year after year. Dreger is reporting that Renaissance are the buyers but there's lots of hurdles, so it's the old story again - unless Glendale bankrupts itself to keep the team in town, they'll leave.

Basically, it sounds like it will come down to this: on Tuesday, the new owners will ask for around $15 mil to operate the arena. Glendale will offer 6. At that point, the hockey ops staff and the players should start brushing up on their French. Edited by MadDog2020

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I agree that this is most likely the end of the road in this saga one way or the other. The way I see this playing out is the RSE announcement to buy the team on Tuesday to make the NHL look like the good guys who once again are stepping up to keep the team there. Then the ball will be in the City of Glendale's hands who will only offer to pay an AMF of $6M/yr. Then RSE demands the rumored $13-15M/yr which the city won't be able to meet. The NHL will then sell to Quebecor and make it look like Glendale was the bad guys in all of this. It's a nice clean break for the league.

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Taking away some info from a google translation of this article:

 

Potential Key Dates

Tuesday - NHL/CoG/RSE officials meet in multiple meetings throughout the day to see how viable a deal would be.

May 31 - Apparently the drop dead date to decide to relocate a team for the NHL is by the end of this day. I'm not 100% positive on that though.

June 11 - Rumored day that the CoG would vote on the new deal with RSE. However this could be too late for the NHL. Some speculation that this is their way of trying to save face and shift blame back to the NHL or force the NHL into owning the team for another year if they can't reach a deal with RSE on the AMF.

 

Also, apparently the CoG may be able to go up to $8M/yr on the AMF which is still far away from what RSE wants...though we'll see if they negotiate down to meet in the middle.

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Some hard numbers on the RSE deal have been leaked and as expected it is a very friendly deal towards RSE. Source: Forbes

 

A source close to the negotiations, who traded candor for anonymity, revealed the purchase price as $170 million. The capital structure would consist of RS&E putting in $45 million of equity, Fortress Investment Group lending $120 million (to be repaid by the fee Glendale taxpayers are going to pay the team to run the arena), and an $85 million loan from the NHL.

The $80 million the total capital investment ($250 million) exceeds the enterprise value of the purchase ($170 million) will be used as working capital. In other words, no capital calls even if the team loses a lot of money over the next few years. In addition, the NHL is promising the new owners that they will get the maximum amount of revenue from the league’s revenue-sharing system.

The NHL, which bought the Coyotes out of bankruptcy for $140 million in 2009, is being very flexible with its repayment terms for the new owners. As a result, the new owners would not have to pay any money back to the league for the first five years. And Fortress has something akin to warrants that will allow the hedge fund to swap its loan for equity that could ultimately give the firm a 20% equity stake in the hockey team.

So RSE would only have to put $45M down, not have to worry about the NHL loan for 5 years (at assumed little to no interest), and the taxpayers would be on hook for $120M towards FIG which is supposed to be paid back through the AMF that RSE wants to run the arena...However, Glendale is still accepting 3rd party bids for the arena management thru tomorrow and all reports say that they are still far apart on an AMF with RSE. If this does go through, it's a sweetheart deal for RSE, if not, it's a way for the NHL to say they tried yet again and save face by pinning blame on Glendale.

 

Adjusting the Thrashers timeline for this pushed back season, I'd have to imagine any relocation announcement would come inbetween June 12-15 (conference finals end-SCF begins). Also note that Chris Hansen of the Seattle Arena group recently talked about getting a NHL team there first to pave way for the NBA to return:

 

https://twitter.com/ChrisDaniels5/status/339614269677109248

"Hansen also says new #Seattlearena could be 'shovel ready' this time next year..."

 

https://twitter.com/ChrisDaniels5/status/339614607415050240

"It is only 'shovel ready' so-to-speak, after enviro review, and with a team acquisition. Expansion or otherwise. #SeattleArena"

 

https://twitter.com/ChrisDaniels5/status/339614865834528768

"Hansen also cracked door open for NHL first, but acknowledged it would take some changes to the MOU, & help from NHL owner. #SeattleArena"

 

Some speculate that the NHL would be willing to own the Coyotes one more year if CoG and RSE don't reach a deal and then relocate to Seattle since it's an attractive market and wouldn't screw up realignment. Seems like if Quebec is ever going to get the Coyotes it's now or never.

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I'm going to continue to speculate we're getting to the end of this saga. Today Bettman and Daly spoke on the Coyotes and I found their quotes to suggest that a deal between Glendale and RSE is unlikely and relocation could come soon. 

 

TSN

 

"It's been a complicated process," Bettman said Wednesday before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final. "We, in our minds, understand that we're dealing with a time frame, but a specific day isn't going to do it. But time is getting short and this is really going to be a decision that the city of Glendale is going to have to make."

 
Daly said the 2013-14 schedule will be released a bit later than usual in part because of the uncertainty surrounding the Coyotes.
 
"It certainly means that it's possible that the team won't play there next year," Daly said. "We're in the short strokes in Phoenix now."
 
"No matter how this plays out, I don't think anybody can accuse us of kind of (taking) a grass-is-greener approach to this," Daly said. "We've been committed to this market; we've done everything humanly possible to make this franchise work in this market, and now's the time we're going to find out whether that works."
 
Bettman and Daly put the pressure on the Glendale city council, even when not revealing any hard deadlines. That city council meets June 25 and the board of governors convenes June 27.
 
Asked if there must be a decision in place by that June 27 meeting, Bettman said "maybe." In that time, he said, "stuff is going to happen," and there could be a resolution before then.

 

Some Key Dates

June 14 - Glendale to finalize budget which will tell us how much they will pay towards an arena management fee.

June 25 - Glendale and RSE need to reach agreement by this council meeting.
June 26 - SCF Game 7
June 27 - NHL Board of Governors meeting.
 
I believe last night was the last time Glendale could amend the proposed budget before the vote Friday and in that they only allocated around $6M to the arena management fee which is nowhere close to what RSE wants. Also keep in mind they have 4 other bids from companies willing to manage the arena for less than what RSE wants and city officials wouldn't meet with the RSE people yesterday despite a request from RSE. I'd be surprised if the team stays there at this point. 
 
TSN/RDS keep suggesting Seattle but I think that's just them acting as mouth pieces for the NHL to take away from all the movement that's been quietly happening in Quebec. Quebec is really the only option that is ready and it won't take them as long as Winnipeg did to get ready, hence why relocation is viable this late.

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I'm going to continue to speculate we're getting to the end of this saga. Today Bettman and Daly spoke on the Coyotes and I found their quotes to suggest that a deal between Glendale and RSE is unlikely and relocation could come soon. 

 

TSN

 

"It's been a complicated process," Bettman said Wednesday before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final. "We, in our minds, understand that we're dealing with a time frame, but a specific day isn't going to do it. But time is getting short and this is really going to be a decision that the city of Glendale is going to have to make."

 

Daly said the 2013-14 schedule will be released a bit later than usual in part because of the uncertainty surrounding the Coyotes.

 

"It certainly means that it's possible that the team won't play there next year," Daly said. "We're in the short strokes in Phoenix now."

 

"No matter how this plays out, I don't think anybody can accuse us of kind of (taking) a grass-is-greener approach to this," Daly said. "We've been committed to this market; we've done everything humanly possible to make this franchise work in this market, and now's the time we're going to find out whether that works."

 

Bettman and Daly put the pressure on the Glendale city council, even when not revealing any hard deadlines. That city council meets June 25 and the board of governors convenes June 27.

 

Asked if there must be a decision in place by that June 27 meeting, Bettman said "maybe." In that time, he said, "stuff is going to happen," and there could be a resolution before then.

 

Some Key Dates

June 14 - Glendale to finalize budget which will tell us how much they will pay towards an arena management fee.

June 25 - Glendale and RSE need to reach agreement by this council meeting.

June 26 - SCF Game 7

June 27 - NHL Board of Governors meeting.

 

I believe last night was the last time Glendale could amend the proposed budget before the vote Friday and in that they only allocated around $6M to the arena management fee which is nowhere close to what RSE wants. Also keep in mind they have 4 other bids from companies willing to manage the arena for less than what RSE wants and city officials wouldn't meet with the RSE people yesterday despite a request from RSE. I'd be surprised if the team stays there at this point. 

 

TSN/RDS keep suggesting Seattle but I think that's just them acting as mouth pieces for the NHL to take away from all the movement that's been quietly happening in Quebec. Quebec is really the only option that is ready and it won't take them as long as Winnipeg did to get ready, hence why relocation is viable this late.

Yeah, it sounds like they're outta there. I agree that it will likely be Quebec, but again, that fvcks with realignment, so it'll be interesting to see what they do with regards to that if it is Quebec.

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Yeah, it sounds like they're outta there. I agree that it will likely be Quebec, but again, that fvcks with realignment, so it'll be interesting to see what they do with regards to that if it is Quebec.

I still can't wrap my head around why Seattle would be mentioned at this moment in time, even though it'd be better for realignment purposes. Screams of a diversion tactic to keep Quebec news from leaking out before the league wants it to. But who does the league think they are fooling when it breaks down like this:

Quebec
- Temporary arena that is being renovated to NHL standards
- New NHL caliber arena that is already under construction
- Ownership in place
- Hockey and business management in place
 
Seattle 
- No suitable temporary arena
- Need to change Memoriam of Understanding to get new arena built for hockey before basketball
- Need to find ownership group
- No hockey or business management in place
 

 

Oklahoma city guys? Big basketball fan base

I've never thought about that before so I did a quick search. The Chesapeake Energy Arena in OKC used to host a Central Hockey League team, though I have no idea what the capacity was and if there would even be a market for it. If the NHL is to go anywhere in the middle of the country down the road, I'd guess Kansas City since the Sprint Center seats 17,544 for hockey and its only a few years old. However the arena is managed by the Anschutz Entertainment Group which owns the LA Kings so I'm not sure if that would represent some sort of issue. Still I think Quebec and Seattle are more enticing to the league at this moment in time.

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I've never thought about that before so I did a quick search. The Chesapeake Energy Arena in OKC used to host a Central Hockey League team, though I have no idea what the capacity was and if there would even be a market for it. If the NHL is to go anywhere in the middle of the country down the road, I'd guess Kansas City since the Sprint Center seats 17,544 for hockey and its only a few years old. However the arena is managed by the Anschutz Entertainment Group which owns the LA Kings so I'm not sure if that would represent some sort of issue. Still I think Quebec and Seattle are more enticing to the league at this moment in time.

 

I've never thought of Oklahoma City either. Maybe we could toss that into the list of future possible destinations :) But from what I've heard Kansas City is the most NHL ready arena and has been since it was built. But would there even be a following there? Quebec is really the only ideal destination since the fans there are ready to cheer. The NHL would probably have to cancel the realignment and just swap quebec with Winnipeg and tinker with the teams in the divisions.

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Oklahoma City isn't big enough to support 2 pro sports teams.  The NBA and NHL have to avoid each other in all but the biggest markets, lest they overlap and destroy one another.  

 

fiesty:  I am not convinced the NHL wants to go to Quebec at all.  There were issues beyond finances there when they left - like that Quebec is much less bilingual than Montreal, and what players want to learn French to e.g. conduct interviews?  They've played in ill-suited arenas before, and they don't need a buyer for the team to move it there - they own the team, they can move it there themselves.

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I've never thought about that before so I did a quick search. The Chesapeake Energy Arena in OKC used to host a Central Hockey League team, though I have no idea what the capacity was and if there would even be a market for it. If the NHL is to go anywhere in the middle of the country down the road, I'd guess Kansas City since the Sprint Center seats 17,544 for hockey and its only a few years old. However the arena is managed by the Anschutz Entertainment Group which owns the LA Kings so I'm not sure if that would represent some sort of issue. Still I think Quebec and Seattle are more enticing to the league at this moment in time.

 

Doesn't AEG also manage the Prudential Center? 

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Doesn't AEG also manage the Prudential Center? 

No, they got fired about 4 years ago. lol. The Devils now operate it.

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fiesty:  I am not convinced the NHL wants to go to Quebec at all.  There were issues beyond finances there when they left - like that Quebec is much less bilingual than Montreal, and what players want to learn French to e.g. conduct interviews?  They've played in ill-suited arenas before, and they don't need a buyer for the team to move it there - they own the team, they can move it there themselves.

I agree that they want to avoid Quebec. I think going to Quebec (or any Canadian market) is Bettman's nightmare and he'd go to great lengths, even impractical ones to avoid it.

 

Reports out of Seattle last night actually confirmed that Key Arena still has the ice making equipment which I had previously thought they had done away with, so I suppose that is a temporary option, even though it only seats 11,000 for hockey and will have bad sightlines. Fair point that the NHL could still own the team and move it to Seattle but wouldn't they stand to still lose money? I suppose the NHL could see Hansen's arena effort and the likelihood that the MOU gets changed on the new arena plan, thus making this an ideal time to move into the market. I still think Quebec is best option but I wouldn't put it past the NHL to go to Seattle since there is a window of opportunity there.

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fiesty:  I am not convinced the NHL wants to go to Quebec at all.  There were issues beyond finances there when they left - like that Quebec is much less bilingual than Montreal, and what players want to learn French to e.g. conduct interviews?  They've played in ill-suited arenas before, and they don't need a buyer for the team to move it there - they own the team, they can move it there themselves.

I agree that they want to avoid Quebec. I think going to Quebec (or any Canadian market) is Bettman's nightmare and he'd go to great lengths, even impractical ones to avoid it.

 

Reports out of Seattle last night actually confirmed that Key Arena still has the ice making equipment which I had previously thought they had done away with, so I suppose that is a temporary option, even though it only seats 11,000 for hockey and will have bad sightlines. Fair point that the NHL could still own the team and move it to Seattle but wouldn't they stand to still lose money? I suppose the NHL could see Hansen's arena effort and the likelihood that the MOU gets changed on the new arena plan, thus making this an ideal time to move into the market. I still think Quebec is best option but I wouldn't put it past the NHL to go to Seattle since there is a window of opportunity there.

Plus Seattle doesn't ruin realignment, the Seattle franchise would slot right into the Coyotes' spot in the Pacific division. AND it creates a natural geographic rivalry with Vancouver. It does make a lot of sense to go there.

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Glendale approved their final budget this morning, with only $6.5 million budgeted for an arena manager. That's probably the last straw.

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Glendale approved their final budget this morning, with only $6.5 million budgeted for an arena manager. That's probably the last straw.

Yep, this should be over in about 2 weeks. The only thing left is whether or not the NHL is serious about Seattle or if that is being used to distract from Quebec or to try to get Quebec to bid more on a relocation fee + sale price.

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EDIT: Just saw Brandon's post and I agree that this Seattle thing has legs to it.

 

A few interesting developments...

On the Seattle side, there appears to be more to this Seattle thing than I initally thought. Apparently the Canucks originally tried to move their AHL affiliate into Key Arena which was denied to keep dates open for another tenant. I believe this was after the Sonics buzz died down, so it was down with the Coyotes in mind. Also, Glenn Healy has said that the deadline is July 2 for Glendale to secure a lease agreement to keep the team. I wouldn't trust him 100% but it's something to keep in mind to see if other media outlets start to report it.

 

Today, Chris Daniels tweeted a ton of info that makes this seem legit.

 

"The $220m figure for sale would put Coyotes near middle of pack for franchise evaluations.. @forbes #Seattle.....@forbes says the Coyotes franchise is worth $134m, so $220m would be a nice payday for #NHL"

"BREAKING: Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn acknowledges recent discussions with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman"

"BREAKING: McGinn says a Hansen rep introduced him to potential Seattle NHL investors two weeks ago."

"BREAKING: NHL investors also met with Seattle City Council members."

"NOW: I can also now confirm Lanza and Bartoszek are the two investors interested in bringing Coyotes to Seattle. #NHL"

"Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess confirms meeting with Lanza/Bartoszek, says they were "optimistic and positive" on Seattle. #NHL"

"Seattle City Councilmember Burgess says he believed there was a tentative lease deal on Key Arena, for the fall, for an #NHL team."

Note that Lanza and Bartoszek have some serious money and one of them owns a business in Seattle.

 

 

On the Glendale side, this article came out a couple days ago about a Hail Mary Glendale and RSE are trying to pull off. To summarize:

- Glendale and RSE trying to bridge the $9M/yr Arena Management Fee gap ($6M/yr approved vs. $15M/yr sought)
- RSE claims that they found multiple Coyotes related-revenue streams for Glendale that will provide city between $8M-$11M a year
- RSE claims new revenue streams for Glendale will allow for that to be met
- To be presented on Tuesday to Glendale Council, could be voted on 6/25, 6/28, or 7/2
- Need 4/7 votes to pass

 

I'm very skeptical about those supposed new revenue streams that were found. Seems like the city manager and councilmember Sherwood who is trying to keep the team at all cost are trying to find some sort of last minute deal. I don't think the rest of the council will go for this unless it checks out 100%.

Edited by thefiestygoat

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EDIT: Just saw Brandon's post and I agree that this Seattle thing has legs to it.

A few interesting developments...

On the Seattle side, there appears to be more to this Seattle thing than I initally thought. Apparently the Canucks originally tried to move their AHL affiliate into Key Arena which was denied to keep dates open for another tenant. I believe this was after the Sonics buzz died down, so it was down with the Coyotes in mind. Also, Glenn Healy has said that the deadline is July 2 for Glendale to secure a lease agreement to keep the team. I wouldn't trust him 100% but it's something to keep in mind to see if other media outlets start to report it.

Today, Chris Daniels tweeted a ton of info that makes this seem legit.

"The $220m figure for sale would put Coyotes near middle of pack for franchise evaluations.. @forbes #Seattle.....@forbes says the Coyotes franchise is worth $134m, so $220m would be a nice payday for #NHL"

"BREAKING: Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn acknowledges recent discussions with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman"

"BREAKING: McGinn says a Hansen rep introduced him to potential Seattle NHL investors two weeks ago."

"BREAKING: NHL investors also met with Seattle City Council members."

"NOW: I can also now confirm Lanza and Bartoszek are the two investors interested in bringing Coyotes to Seattle. #NHL"

"Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess confirms meeting with Lanza/Bartoszek, says they were "optimistic and positive" on Seattle. #NHL"

"Seattle City Councilmember Burgess says he believed there was a tentative lease deal on Key Arena, for the fall, for an #NHL team."

Note that Lanza and Bartoszek have some serious money and one of them owns a business in Seattle.

On the Glendale side, this article came out a couple days ago about a Hail Mary Glendale and RSE are trying to pull off. To summarize:

- Glendale and RSE trying to bridge the $9M/yr Arena Management Fee gap ($6M/yr approved vs. $15M/yr sought)

- RSE claims that they found multiple Coyotes related-revenue streams for Glendale that will provide city between $8M-$11M a year

- RSE claims new revenue streams for Glendale will allow for that to be met

- To be presented on Tuesday to Glendale Council, could be voted on 6/25, 6/28, or 7/2

- Need 4/7 votes to pass

I'm very skeptical about those supposed new revenue streams that were found. Seems like the city manager and councilmember Sherwood who is trying to keep the team at all cost are trying to find some sort of last minute deal. I don't think the rest of the council will go for this unless it checks out 100%.

Even if it does 'check out', I could see the GWI sticking their beaks in regarding these supposed hidden revenue streams that no one knew about for the last 4 years (coincidentally, Glendale's property taxes were doubled apparently. Hmmmmmm...). Seattle sounds legit. Although they will lose a sh!tLOAD of money at Key while the new arena is being built. They'll be a max revenue-share team for sure. Key only seats 11,000 for hockey, so they're gonna take a huge bath there for a couple years. Edited by MadDog2020

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They'll gladly take the hit with the team already in the bag.  Seattle has a great group of passionate sports fans.  Plus, there is a ton of military in the area that helps support the teams as well.  An instant rivalry with Vancouver.  I made a road trip from the Seattle area to Vancouver to see the Devils play in 99/00 season.  Not a bad trek at all.  It'll be great for the Northwest.  I hope it's true.

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Wikipedia lists 15,000 for hockey, but yeah, I imagine there'd have to be some serious renovations in general.

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The good news for Seattle fans is that Lanza and Bartoszek are apparently mega rich so losing money in the beginning won't be that big of a deal. I also read a rumor somewhere that they may be able to use Key Arena rent free, so that would be a huge plus. I'm sure Hansen will do his best to help this happen since the sooner they break ground on a new arena, the more appealing Seattle will be for the rumored NBA expansion in a few years.

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http://www.king5.com/news/cities/seattle/Coyotes-Story-Takes-Another-Twist-Seattle-Waits-212086221.html

 

 

Glendale didn't budge.

The Arizona city's council and mayor emerged from a closed door meeting Tuesday night, and said very little about a deal to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in the desert.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has suggested the city needs to come to an agreement soon with an ownership group, or the franchise could relocate for the next season.

The council, made up of seven people, including the Mayor breezed past reporters in Glendale, and said very little.

The Arizona Republic's Paul Giblin tweeted that Glendale Councilman Manny Martinez as saying a vote was unlikely by next Tuesday, the 25th. Giblin also said "There wasn't instant love for proposal."

Looks like Glendale may end up dragging this out to the point where the NHL has to make the call to relocate or get stuck with the team another year - which I don't think they'll allow it to happen. If this ever makes it to a vote, it's expected to be a close one, with the mayor the likely swing vote. Still nothing that happens one way or the other in this saga will shock me at this point.

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It seems to me Glendale is gonna make the NHL kill this. The mayor has nothing to lose by waiting. Either he gets the Coyotes for one more year on the city's terms, or he gets to say they tried, but the big bad NHL didn't want to wait. Ultimately, that BOG meeting June 27 will decide where this goes I think.

Edited by MadDog2020

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