Greg Jamison will move ahead with a Phoenix Coyotes purchase before tomorrow’s deadline date, according to multiple reports.
There had some doubts as to whether Jamison would move ahead with an inventive-laden buy of the NHL franchise. It is perhaps the sweetest deal in sports business in recent years: Glendale (Az.) will pay Jamison (via the Coyotes) $15 million annually to manage the arena (apart from NHL games) for the next 20 years. From USA Today:
Jamison needs to buy the team from the NHL by Thursday to secure a 20-year deal with the city to use and manage the 17,250-seat arena. The deal will pay him about $15 million a year to book concerts and non-hockey events into the facility. If he misses the deadline, the agreement will vanish.
Jamison vowed that he’ll meet the deadline. “There’s a lot happening. We’re moving forward. There will be an announcement before the end of the week,” Jamison said Monday morning.
The deadline is Jan. 31 — tomorrow.
Meeting the deadline is important: if he misses the deadline, he’s not likely to have another shot at such a lucrative deal. In the last election Glendale elected four new City Council members that oppose the arena deal, and if Jamison doesn’t meet the deadline, it’s highly unlikely a similar deal would be approved by the current city leadership.
Jamison, the former CEO of the San Jose Sharks, has had issues putting together an investment group to buy the Coyotes from the NHL, according to reports. Former owner Jerry Moyes says he lost $30 million a year on Coyotes operations, and a $15 million annual city subsidy will not move the team to profitability based on the Moyes assertion.
Leaving the sale to the last minute is somewhat troubling, however, as Jamison is buying the team from the NHL, which bought the Coyotes out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009 for $140 million. We’re not so sure why this is taking so long to close, given that the NHL and Jamison know each other very well, and in this situation the NHL should be able to accommodate any issues for Jamison in putting together a group.