With a little over three days left before the January 31, 2013 deadline, prospective Coyotes owner Greg Jamison finally broke his silence on Monday when he told The Arizona Republic that he expects to complete his purchase of the Coyotes on Wednesday or Thursday this week, ahead of a crucial deadline linked to the Jobing.com Arena in Glendale where the team plays.
Jamison needs to purchase the team from the NHL by Thursday at midnight to secure a 20-year deal arena management fee (AMF) worth $308 million with the city to use and manage the 17,250-seat arena. The deal that would pay him around $15 million a year will become null and void if Jamison is unable to close the deal before the deadline imposed by the City of Glendale.
Quotes from The Arizona Republic article:
“There’s a lot happening. We’re moving forward. There will be an announcement before the end of the week,” Jamison said Monday morning. “The deadline is the 31st, right? We’re working toward that,” Jamison said.
“There are a lot of moving parts. It’s very difficult to explain how many moving parts there are to put it all together. Rather than constantly going into that with people – people are a little tired of hearing that – I think they would just prefer to have an announcement, one way or the other, at an appropriate time,” Jamison said.
According to a source close to the situation, Jamison does in fact have the money and the investors lined up to purchase the struggling franchise; the problem is that he is currently finalizing all the necessary paperwork to complete to transaction, which is a very time-consuming process. As a result, the group of investors led by Jamison is reportedly not close to complete the all the required documents for the transaction, which is why it is highly improbable that they will announce the purchase of the team prior to the ultimate deadline.
The failure to complete the purchase of the team basically means the AMF is dead in the water as the former pro-Coyotes council has been replaced by an anti-Coyotes council led by new Mayor of Glendale Jerry Weiers, who is vehemently opposed to the deal with Jamison.
“For the life of me, I can’t figure why, if everything is lined up, if he’s got the money in hand, why would he postpone this? That’s the only thing I haven’t been able to figure out,” Weiers said in an interview with The Arizona Republic. “What would be the purpose of delaying it?”
Weiers made his point clear when he spoke to Jamison on the situation:
“I told Jamison that as opposed as I was to the deal — I thought that the city didn’t get a very good deal out of it — the fact is that the council made that decision. The deal that was made said that he has until the 31st to put it together. I’ll honor that, but I also told him that I wouldn’t honor it one second past that.”
The above statement confirms Jamison must hurry if he really wants to purchase the Coyotes and try to turn this franchise over financially.
The Coyotes are already struggling at the gate this season after three home games despite hosting the Los Angeles Kings, the Stanley Cup champions, on Saturday. The team is already dead last in attendance with an average of 13,499 fans per game in 2013. Tonight, the Coyotes host the Nashville Predators, who have never been a good draw in the desert, so we’ll see if the fact that Jamison broke his silence earlier today will entice the fans to attend the game in swarms.
On the ice, the Coyotes are also off to a tough start through five games with a 1-4 record, their only win being against the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets. The fact that all-star goaltender Mike Smith is currently injured, and that quality players such as Rotislav Klesla and Martin Hanzal also missed games, certainly didn’t help the team to have a good start.
Stay tuned for more ground-breaking news on the never-ending saga that is the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes.
A long-time Joe Sakic fan, Fred, 35, is a freelance sports writer and translator. Fred earned a Bachelor of Translation in 2002 at Laval University in Quebec City. He also writes on the Montreal Canadiens for HabsAddict.com and he is an associate editor and a baseball columnist on Dobberbaseball.com. He is also fluent in English, French and Spanish.