Ice Edge Holdings says it has enough money to buy the Phoenix Coyotes and has a plan in place to change the team’s financial fortunes.
The group, comprised mainly of Anthony LeBlanc, Keith McCullough and John Breslow, will borrow half the money needed to buy the team and put in personal cash to cover the rest. That amount isn’t yet set: the group first needs to raise $160 million or so to buy the franchise from the NHL and cover past losses suffered by the league; the group must next prove to Glendale that it has the financial wherewithal to run the area and pay back costs incurred by the city.
The group has identified some ways to cut down operating expenses — the team will move its offices into jobing.com Arena — and raise revenues. Two ways of raising revenue are relatively uncontroversial: slapping a $2 surcharge on tickets and raising parking fees. But the third is still a little iffy: creating a taxation district around jobing.com Arena to raise an additional $75 million over 10 years, money that would be used to directly subsidize the team — not the arena. We’re guessing some of the property owners in the area, like former Coyotes owner Steve Ellman, will object to how the taxation district is currently proposed: it’s one thing to subsidize the arena, but it’s another to subsidize the tenant.
LeBlanc expects the team to be profitable in three years. The NHL already made a lot of cuts to the team’s operating expenses, giving the group a good running start.
RELATED STORIES: Glendale approves Ice Edge Holdings deal; 60 days to close; Bettman: Oh, Canada?; Reinsdorf: I’m done pursuing Coyotes; Ice Edge Holdings emerging as leading Coyotes suitor; Glendale to cover Coyotes losses — for now; Reinsdorf snares Jobing.com Arena lease, Coyotes presumably to follow