Coyotes, NHL on track for new ownership

May 07, 2012

The National Hockey League is on the cusp of selling the Phoenix Coyotes to an ownership group that will keep the team in the Valley.

From Phoenix, KJZZ's Steve Goldstein reports.

STEVE GOLDSTEIN: The recent off-ice history of the Coyotes has been a saga of bankruptcy, lawsuits, and potential owners who pulled out before a sale agreement could be finalized. But on Commissioner Gary Bettman, in Glendale for Game Five of the Coyotes' playoff series against the Nashville Predators, says negotiations with an ownership group led by former San Jose Sharks' CEO Greg Jamison are on the right track. And Bettman says the team will have the full attention of a new owner, thus advancing its fiscal prospects.

GARY BETTMAN: Having a full-time owner focused on the business on the club can do much better than we've been able to do, because we've been terribly hampered by the uncertainty. Sponsors, season ticket holders, there's only so much they're going to be prepared to do in the face of uncertainty.

STEVE GOLDSTEIN: Critics have doubted whether ice hockey can succeed in the desert, and the Coyotes have consistently lost millions of dollars. But Greg Jamison says the product has great potential worth investing in.

GREG JAMISON: We have looked, from the very beginning, and think there's great upside. It's a franchise that can do very well, and we have not altered from that opinion. And we will continue to work at that in a professional and enthusiastic and passionate way to continue its growth.

STEVE GOLDSTEIN: Before approval can come from the NHL’s Board of Governors, Jamison must have a lease agreement on Jobing dot com Arena with the Glendale City Council. Commissioner Gary Bettman is hoping the entire process will be completed in weeks rather than months.