I know that most of you readers are just as sick of reading about this stuff as we are about writing it, but with all the developments from the last 5 days it's time to check back in with our favorite seemingly neverending saga. When we last left the rebel alliance, they were hidden away on a base on the far side of Dantooine having just destroyed the Empire's Death Star....oh wait, wrong neverending saga.
Ah yes, Coyotes ownership - so much fun we're doing it back to back offseasons. So the latest and greatest was that the City of Glendale agreed to cover $25 million in losses for the Coyotes until new ownership was found, no later than December 31, 2010. The City then moved some money into an escrow account to appease the NHL overlords and prevent them from selling the team to a group in Winnipeg that was going to move the team imminently. There were three local ownership groups, (1) Reinsdorf had a signed MOU approved by the City Council, (2) Ice Edge Holdings had fan support, was negotiating, but had no formal agreement and was refusing to do more unless and until it received an exclusive window to negotiate for the team; and (3) a mystery third group existed that nobody really knew anything about apart from mere speculation.
Last week, Ice Edge jumped back into the picture with its exclusive MOU with the City of Glendale, one that was approved, theoretically, in an executive session of the City Council on Friday afternoon.
This memorandum of understanding is available to read here. I think AZVibe does a pretty good job summarizing the MOU here. That article also mentions the next step which is the Public City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 8 at 7:00 PM where the formal vote will occur on the MOU. Obviously, this is the one that folks need to attend and show their Coyotes support.
After the jump, the Coyotes urge season ticket holders to make their voices heard at the City Council meeting, a few more comments on the Ice Edge MOU, and we may be down a potential buyer again.Earlier today, the Coyotes sent out the following email to their season ticket holders:
Thank you for your continued support of the Phoenix Coyotes!
In a public meeting on Tuesday, June 8 at 7PM, the Glendale City Council will vote on the revised Memorandum of Understanding received from Ice Edge Holdings Group to purchase the Coyotes. The meeting location is:
5850 W Glendale Ave
Glendale, AZ 85301
To view the Memorandum of Understanding or the City Council Meeting Agenda, go to:
If you would like your voice heard as a ticket holder, we strongly urge you to attend this public meeting and let the council members know how you feel about keeping the Coyotes in Glendale.
If you have any further questions in regard to the meeting, please contact the City of Glendale offices at 623-930-2960.
The Phoenix Coyotes
Hopefully we will see even more Coyotes fans than at the last meeting, although with the Dbacks in town and the NBA Finals on TV and everything else, I'd imagine it will be a similar crowd. I'll do my best to attend and report live from the meeting via Twitter.
Now, a few words on the MOU. Our favorite "journalist" decided to chime in on the new MOU by focusing on a reputed "out clause" that is new to this version. One point that I'd like to make regarding the clause which is at Section 3.1(f)(2). The clause is an out in the sense that Ice Edge will have the ability to sell the team if certain levels of losses are sustained over the first 5 years that are not covered by revenues generated by either the CFD or the Operating Revenue Fund - which can provide a substantial amount of money. In that event, however, the clause works to allow for a sale to either (1) a party that is found by the City of Glendale who will pay Ice Edge the outstanding debt it owes, and agree to keep the team in Glendale, or (2) to any party found by Ice Edge, provided that the party agrees to honor the terms of the revised AMULA. Therefore, consistent with what we have heard from Ice Edge previously, based on my reading, a subsequent purchaser is going to be bound to keep the team here so long as the AMULA (which remains to be finalized in negotiations) stays as it is currently drafted.
My take on the MOU is twofold. While similar to Reinsdorf, I think it still puts a greater amount of risk on Ice Edge to generate revenue and make it work. The Reinsdorf MOU basically read that Glendale would end up paying Reinsdorf to buy the team...this doesn't seem to be the case here. While Glendale is certainly on the hook to find additional revenue streams, and guarantee some losses, Ice Edge is taking on more of the responsibilities. This is good in my opinion. Secondly, while Ice Edge may have received a way to get itself out of the deal five years from now, it's not the same type of open ended out that would all but guarantee the team moving in five years that the Reinsdorf deal had. Again, this is good in my view.
I would also be negligent if I didn't report that while I was writing this, reports are breaking that Reinsdorf has pulled out of his bid to buy the team. I'll take that for the bandwidth it is broadcasted on because we've all heard it before. Until someone signs finally papers, gets approval from the Board of Governors and starts actively owning the team, I'm not really going to believe that anyone with a couple hundred million dollars to spare is truly out of it.
In closing, as fans, season tickets are currently on sale, so look to re-up there and support the franchise. If you can make it to the Glendale City Council meeting, do that too. If you can't, call or email the Glendale City Council members tomorrow and let them know how you feel. It looks like we may finally be moving in the right track here and into a situation where we can focus on what is really important (re-signing free agents and getting ready for next year!).