Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer has withdrawn his bid to become the new owner for the Phoenix Coyotes. However, the Coyotes, the City of Glendale and the National Hockey League remain optimistic that a qualified local buyer will emerge to keep the team in Jobing.com Arena beyond the 2011-12 season.
"The City of Glendale and the National Hockey League continue to negotiate with other interested parties to secure new ownership for the Phoenix Coyotes," the club said in a statement released by its public relations staff. "The objective continues to be to transition ownership of the club to an interested purchaser in the coming months."
The NHL will continue to operate the Coyotes until the team is sold, but the City of Glendale has committed $25 million to cover any losses and keep the team in Jobing.com Arena for the 2011-12 season.
"The Hulsizer decision to withdraw was related to the City of Glendale's decision to pursue a different deal structure -- a structure that several interested purchasers have indicated an interest in pursuing," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told NHL.com. "So, while we are disappointed for Matt that he chose not to continue his pursuit, the development does not represent a step backwards in the process. We are still pushing toward a sale at the earliest possible date."
Daly said the different deal structure "does not contemplate a municipal bond offering," which is a change from the structure of the now abandoned Hulsizer deal.
The City of Glendale had agreed to sell upwards of $100 million in municipal bonds that would go towards Hulsizer's purchase of the Coyotes from the NHL for a reported $170 million. However, the Goldwater Institute intervened and threatened a lawsuit, saying the deal between the City of Glendale and Hulsizer was illegal under Arizona's constitution and would put taxpayers at risk.
Daly said he believes not having the municipal bond offering as part of the new deal structure "should go a long way toward resolving the concerns" of the Goldwater Institute.
"None of the purchase price will be financed out of the proceeds of a bond offering," Daly added.
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