Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kerrzy’s Notebook: Glendale White Sox

The latest chapter is being written in the ongoing saga of the Phoenix Coyotes.

It looks like Jerry Reinsdorf, the owner of the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Bulls, will soon have himself an NHL club after all. The Associated Press reports that a day before the Coyotes’ first playoff game since 2002, Glendale City Council approved Reinsdorf’s proposed arena lease agreement with a 6-0 vote.

This, despite a watchdog organization blasting the Glendale Hockey proposal a day earlier.

The Reinsdorf bid intends to keep the team where it is – at least for the next five years – and plans on changing its name from the Phoenix Coyotes to the Glendale or Arizona Coyotes. There are 24 years left on the lease with arena, but if certain conditions aren’t met by the fifth year, all Reinsdorf has to do is give a 180-day notice that his group intends to sell the team.

That’s when the whole cycle begins again.

The meat of the deal seems to involve the creation of a “community facilities district,” which is “a special district that can issue tax-exempt bonds for the planning, design, acquisition, construction, and/or operation of public facilities, as well as provide public services to district residents. Special tax assessments levied by the district are used to repay the bonds.”

Make sense? Yeah, I’m not too clear on what that all really means either.

According to the AP, the Phoenix Coyotes have never turned a profit since moving from Winnipeg in 1996. Isn’t that something?

Despite the success of the Coyotes this year and all the press (both positive and negative), the NHL says it expects the team to lose another $20-million this season.

Maybe they should have applied for some of that Obama bailout money.

Oh, and remember Ice Edge Holdings?

They’re the group that wanted to buy the team and hold a few games each year in smaller-market Canadian cities. Their bid was shut down by a vote of 5-1, despite claims that they had already raised as much as $250-million to cover the purchase of the team plus losses and other costs.

All this, and there are still no guarantees about the team staying put. Looks like we haven’t heard the last of that storyline.

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