OTTAWA — NHL commissioner Gary Bettman acknowledged Wednesday there is a limit to the league’s patience in propping up the troubled Phoenix Coyotes franchise.
“We’ve been at this now for a year and a half,” Bettman told The Citizen when asked about the league’s attempts to find a new owner for the Coyotes.
“At some point, just like if you think back to Quebec and Winnipeg (relocating to Denver and Phoenix, respectively), you run out of options and you don’t have a choice. We fight as hard as we can to avoid being in that situation, but at some point, you deal with the realities.”
If the city of Glendale, Arizona — the Coyotes' home — can’t work out a lease agreement with a buyer willing to keep the franchise in Phoenix by Dec. 31, the NHL will accept an existing offer from a purchaser aiming to move the franchise. The Winnipeg Free Press has reported that group as being Winnipeg-based Truth North Sports and Entertainment.
Few details have emerged from Phoenix in the past two weeks, ever since ESPN.com reported that Matt Hulsizer could be a potential new owner of the franchise, perhaps working in partnership with Ice Edge Holdings.
The latest reports suggest the club has sold 4,000 season tickets and only one-quarter of its luxury suites have been booked for the 2010-11 season.
The franchise, which has lost between $200 million and $300 million since leaving Winnipeg, has been bankrolled by the NHL since January 2009.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Bettman wants arena deal for Coyotes by Dec. 31 or else.
There comes a time when you have to cut your losses and move on, the NHL needs to move on in Phoenix, because it's apparent that this is a losing situation and it’s not getting any better. While I am not an economics major the Phoenix Coyotes aren’t going to make it selling only 4,000 regular season tickets. Finally; NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is starting to get it, albeit he is late to the party but he is realizing that it's time to move on. Now, let’s move the team to Winnipeg.