Coyotes owners confirm investor interest... and their commitment to Arizona
“In response to media reports today, the Arizona Coyotes can confirm that IceArizona has been in discussions with an unsolicited potential investor who is interested in joining the partnership. This should be viewed as an incredibly positive development and is due to the successful first year of IceArizona’s ownership.
This is all about the long-term stability and viability of the franchise in Arizona. By no means are any members of the current IceArizona group departing the ownership. While there has been no confirmation of any transaction, this is something that the current ownership group is exploring.”
IceArizona, a nine-person ownership group headed by George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc, purchased the Coyotes for $170 million in 2013. Assuming reports are accurate, that IceArizona connected with Barroway shouldn’t come as any surprise; he was in the running to purchase the Islanders from Charles Wang before getting spurned in favor of Jonathan Ledecky and, prior to the Isles situation, was reportedly interested in purchasing the New Jersey Devils.
Also unsurprising? That the Coyotes addressed the issue of relocation (or, more specifically, re-iterated its commitment staying put). Upon purchasing the team, IceArizona, then RSE, negotiated a contentious out clause that allowed it to terminate its arena lease agreement after five years, should cumulative losses reach $50 million.
The Arizona Republic contacted NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly for comment on today’s developments:
Daly did not confirm Barroway’s pursuit of the Coyotes when reached via email, but he also didn’t shoot down the idea of the rumored ownership negotiation.
“There should be no concern about ownership,” Daly wrote. “It is and will be strong and committed.”
Daly did reiterate that moving the franchise isn’t on anyone’s radar, which would suggest that keeping the team in Arizona is the intent of whatever ownership group is in charge.
“Nobody is considering relocation,” Daly wrote.
Per today’s report from the Post, the Coyotes claimed $24 million in losses last season, and Barroway is believed to be purchasing 51 percent of the team based on a recent $305 million valuation.