A group of businessmen wishing to buy the Phoenix Coyotes has a creative plan for the team to play five games each season in Canada, likely in either Saskatoon or Halifax, to help keep it financially viable in Arizona.
Friday was the deadline in Arizona bankruptcy court for bidders who wish to keep the Coyotes at their Glendale home to submit their formal bids. One bid, from Chicago Bulls and White Sox owner Gerry Reinsdorf, was submitted and worth up to $148 million (all figures U.S.). Another group of Canadian and American businessmen, calling itself Ice Edge Holdings, submitted a “letter of intent” to buy the team. for $150 million.
It has until Aug. 5 to get its bid on the table but is still raising capital. That day an auction will be held for bidders who wish to keep the team in Phoenix. If a bankruptcy judge rules that no bid is satisfactory for creditors, another auction will be held Sept. 10 for bidders, such as Jim Balsillie, who wish to move the team.
“Today we couldn’t to it but that doesn’t mean we (can’t get the bid completed) a week from now,” said Ice Edge Holdings’ spokesperson Daryl Jones, an Albertan.
“If we didn’t think we could, we’d stop working on it. We’re working on this day and night. It’s an incredibly complicated situation.”
Jones said his group’s plan is to keep the Coyotes in Arizona but he said games in Canada would augment revenues for the team and bring NHL regular-season hockey to a part of Canada that would otherwise have no chance to see it.