Story Summary

NHL team coming to Seattle?

The NHL has a plan to move the Phoenix Coyotes to Seattle if an arena leasing agreement isn’t reached by July 2 between the prospective new owners of the team and the city of Glendale, Ariz., the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s Elliotte Friedman and Glenn Healy reported June 15.

During CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada Hotstove segment Saturday night, the CBC’s Friedman and Healy said that if that deal falls apart, the NHL has a plan B: It would sell the Coyotes to Ray Bartoszek and Anthony Larza for $220 million and move the team to Seattle. KeyArena would be a temporary home until Seattle’s new NBA/NHL arena is built, they said.

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Sports
07/02/13

No NHL Coyotes for Seattle

coyotesGLENDALE, Ariz. (FOX10) — The Glendale City Council voted 4-3 Tuesday night to accept an arena-lease deal  with the prospective ownership group of the Phoenix Coyotes that will keep the NHL team in Arizona for years.

NHL sources said if the deal had been rejected, there was a “Plan B” that included a new group of investors who would move the Coyotes to Seattle. That plan is now moot.

SEATTLE — We start by putting our spotlight on this Wednesday.

coyotesIt could be just an ordinary day. Or our heads will be spinning from the legitimate possibility that the NHL will be in Seattle this fall.

Until then, I have zero expectations. But if it happens, accountability is key.

On Tuesday night, the Glendale, Ariz., City  Council will vote on a proposal to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in town. Most believe the vote could go either way. Then again, barring any changes in the next 48 hours, that proposal includes a provision that the potential ownership group never agreed to. In fact, the ownership group has called that provision — a five-year “out” clause for Glendale  – a non-starter in negotiations for the past month.

So basically, we’re watching a dangerous game of chicken between Glendale and the Coyotes’  potential owners.

Still, as a somewhat jaded Seattle fan, I won’t be surprised if one side swerves at the last minute – and saves the team.

But if it doesn’t happen? Get ready for Wednesday – when all the talk will be about the NHL and Seattle.

More than anything – the NHL can gain a lot of credibility by sticking to its Tuesday night deadline. We’ve been jerked around by the NBA too often recently with delayed deadlines, all which allowed Sacramento more time to keep the Kings. We’re about to see whether the NHL – unlike the NBA – can live up to its tough rhetoric.

After all, quoting NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly “we either get certainty in Glendale by July 2, or we immediately pursue our other options outside of Glendale. We have already gone past the date we were comfortable accommodating in the first place.”

I challenge the NHL to live up to its word. After four years of a mess in Arizona – I hope the league pulls the plug if there’s no clear deal in Glendale by Tuesday night.

Because anything short of that will make sports fans here even more cynical than they already are.

Personally, I think hockey is a sleeping giant in Seattle. That ultimately, our sports community will openly and willingly embrace an NHL team. Combined with a new rivalry with Vancouver, and the atmosphere of games in general, the NHL in Seattle would be a raging success.

But we’ve been swindled too many times by that other league to expect any premature celebration. Even Wednesday, the most optimistic sports fan in our area will remain leery.

So for now, I have no expectations. On Wednesday, that might change.

And I can only hope that if Seattle goes from being the NHL’s “Plan B” to “Plan A,” everyone involved, from the league, to the new ownership group, to our local government is ready – has answers – and please, most of all – won’t let us down.

 

 

SEATTLE — I’m sorry, I just don’t want to hear that the Phoenix Coyotes may move to Seattle, nor do I want to report it.

coyotesDon’t get me wrong, I desperately want the NHL in Seattle, but I really don’t want anything to do with it until it’s a done deal.

Because as fans, we don’t deserve to be dragged through the mud again hoping we’ll get a team – basketball, hockey or otherwise – only to be disappointed.

Sure, I’ll stand here tonight and confirm what’s been reported. That Ray Bartoszek and Anthony Lanza are waiting in the wings to buy the Coyotes. And I can confirm that if a potential lease agreement falls through with the city of Glendale, their intentions are to bring the team to Seattle, where Bartoszek has business ties. And I can confirm that the plan would be for the team to play at KeyArena for a few seasons while a new arena is built and that Jeremy Roenick would be involved in the team’s operations.

And yes, our journalistic obligation is to keep you up to date. To ask whether the memorandum of understanding on a new Sodo arena can be amended to accommodate an NHL team as the primary tenant, which I believe it can. To ask what Chris Hansen’s role would be, if any?

But do I want to address the subject? Absolutely not, at least not until the team is officially on its way here.

If we’ve learned anything from the Sacramento Kings battle, it’s not to count our chickens before they’ve hatched.  Despite all the enthusiasm and all the assurances, we were foiled yet again. How many times has Seattle played the role of a pawn for leverage to keep a sports franchise in its city? Frankly, I’m sick of it and the fans in our region don’t deserve the pain and suffering that come with it.

I understand the NHL is different. That there’s no egotistical commissioner with a vendetta against our city.

But it’s been reported that a framework is in place for a lease agreement that would keep the Coyotes in Arizona.

And until there’s a press conference officially announcing the Coyotes move to Seattle, the NHL remains that cheese on a string, with us mice desperately reaching out to secure it.

Thanks to CBC, the secret is now out and I couldn’t be any less pleased. Because now I’m excited again. Now I’m dreaming of the possibilities of a hockey-crazed town finally getting the NHL team it deserves. Meanwhile, Glendale is left scrambling – just like Sacramento did. Who knows if they’ll save their team too, but until then, I don’t want to know.

If I had my way, I’d ask you to wake me up at the start of July, and let me know if we have a team or not.

Because none of us deserve to be vulnerable to a major buzz kill yet again.

SEATTLE — The NHL has a plan to move the Phoenix Coyotes to Seattle if an arena leasing agreement isn’t reached by July 2 between the prospective new owners of the team and the city of Glendale, Ariz., the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s Elliotte Friedman and Glenn Healy reported.

mcginnBut Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, while confirming he had been approached about a fallback option to move the team to Seattle, urged hockey fans in the area not to get their hopes up.

“We’re definitely plan B,” McGinn said.

A Canadian group led by George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc wants to buy the Coyotes for $170 million and is trying to negotiate an acceptable lease agreement with the city of Glendale.

During CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada Hotstove segment Saturday night, the CBC’s Friedman and Healy said that if that deal falls apart, the NHL has a plan B: It would sell the Coyotes to Ray Bartoszek and Anthony Larza for $220 million and move the team to Seattle.

They said part of the new ownership group would be former NHLer and current NBC analyst Jeremy Roenick, who would help run the hockey operations department. KeyArena would be a temporary home until Seattle’s new NBA/NHL arena is built, they said.

However, Foxsportsarizona.com said multiple sources have confirmed that the two sides in Arizona have bridged a $9 million annual gap on an arena lease agreement and the proposal will be presented for review at the Glendale (Ariz.) City Council executive session on Tuesday.

Details of the proposal were not forthcoming, but while the city has only approved $6 million in its budget to manage the arena, it is believed Renaissance Sports and Entertainment, the ownership group headed by  Gosbee andLeBlanc that already has a purchase agreement with the NHL, was able to find multiple Coyotes-related revenue streams for Glendale that will provide the city between $8 million and $11 million annually on a 15-year lease.

Glendale City Councilman Gary Sherwood said the council will review the proposal on Tuesday and possibly suggest some alterations, and then it is expected to be added to the agenda for the City Council meeting on June 25, possibly for a vote.

If the council can’t sift through all of the information it has in time for a vote on June 25, it’s possible the process could be delayed until early July.

The next step, and likely the last major hurdle in the process, is the council vote, which will require four “yes” votes out of seven.

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