Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Breaking News From Arizona Republic

The Arizona Republic is breaking an important piece of news concerning the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes this morning.

The Republic is reporting that Sports Properties Investment Corp., a New York investment firm put together for the express purpose of purchasing major league sports team(s) was working with Jerry Reinsdorf to buy the Coyotes prior to the team filing for bankruptcy protection.

Sports Properties has raised $215 million in capital markets to buy sports and leisure properties. Sports Properties had been rumored to be kicking the tires on the Coyotes prior to the Balsillie bid but had reportedly passed on the opportunity. The publicly traded firm was subsequently reported trying to acquire the NHL's Florida Panthers.

The Republic also reports that Tony Tavares, a former arena management and baseball executive who runs Sports Properties Acquisition Corp., signed an agreement May 4 with the city of Glendale, where the Coyotes play their home games at Arena.

The is great news for Coyotes fans. Tavares is a seasoned executive who served as the President and CEO of Disney Sports Enterprises, successfully launching and operating the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. He also served as the CEO and President of SMG, a company manages stadiums, arenas, theaters and convention facilities worldwide. He has served as president of several Major League Baseball franchises, most recently the Montreal Expos and Washington Nationals.

And Sports Properties has money. Real money. They are sitting on a war chest of over $200MM raised through their public offering. They bring much needed cash, expertise and experience to the table. They also have arena management experience that can help stop the bleeding on that side of the ledger.

Here's the complete AZ Republic story...

The NHL and the Moyes legal team return to court today to tell the judge how they have agreed to run the team until the sale of the franchise is consummated. The judge had instructed both parties into mediation to resolve the issue of who controls the team. The Toronto Star is reporting that the NHL and the Moyes team have agree to run the team together until a sale is completed. The Star is reporting that Don Maloney will continue to run the hockey business, the NHL will foot the bills and any disagreements will be brought to the court for resolution.

Here is the complete story from the Toronto Star