The Phoenix Coyotes four-year nightmare of uncertainty has finally come to an end (or at least a significant pause), as the NHL Board of Governors approved the sale of the franchise to the Ice Arizona Group on Monday. One of the partners of this investment group, Anthony LeBlanc, tweeted the following:
Dear Coyotes fans, it’s official and we are thrilled to be the owners of this wonderful franchise. Go Yotes! #heretostay
— Anthony LeBlanc (@anthonydleblanc) August 5, 2013
Per the NHL:
The National Hockey League believes in Arizona as an NHL market and that these new owners can provide the Coyotes the opportunity to secure a stable, long-term future in Glendale,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said of IceArizona AcquisitionCo., LLC.
We thank Mike Nealy, Don Maloney, Dave Tippett, team captain Shane Doan and all the players and staff for consistently going ‘above and beyond’ on behalf of the franchise during this long and complex process. We thank the Coyotes’ devoted fans for their patient, perseverant support. We are extremely pleased that a positive resolution has been achieved for the fans, the city, the Coyotes and the League.”
The only remaining problem now is that the agreement comes with a five-year out clause, which can be exercised if its losses equal or exceed $50 million dollars. However, George Gosbee, a partner of the Ice Arizona Group, isn’t concerned with these projections. Gosbee told Fox Sports Arizona,
Nobody in my group talks about moving or where we would move. Half the guys have financial or real estate interests in Arizona, and some are moving or retiring down there. We think the model works, and there are lots of attributes that make Phoenix attractive. I want to own this team for the next 30 to 40 years in Arizona.”
Only time will tell the fate of Glendale as a hockey market, but we’re glad that Coyotes fans can take a long anticipated sigh of relief…for now.