NHL Commissioner Says Coyotes Sale Expected by End of Season; Vows to Try to Keep Team in Glendale

The NHL's head-honcho, Gary Bettman, met with the Coyotes top brass and other community leaders in Glendale to discuss the sale of the bankrupt franchise and vowed to do whatever it takes to keep the team in the Valley.

"The goal of that process is to get an owner in Glendale who's going to keep the team here," Bettman told reporters before the Coyotes got smoked 4-1 by the Tampa Bay Lightning last night.

This is good news for the city of Glendale, considering the city has a 30-year, $182 million lease for the Coyotes to play at Arena.

"[The meeting] Confirmed that all parties are on the same page, and we are moving forward to secure a new owner that will keep the team playing in our city for years to come," Glendale officials say in statement.

Bettman tells USA Today that there are about six potential buyers for the team, all of which would keep the team in Glendale.

The problem is, however... Any new owner is sure to want to renegotiate the lease of the arena to make the team somewhat profitable.

Former owner Jerry Moyes claims that in his eight-year stint as Coyotes owner, he lost $300 million.

How do you make a team profitable? Fans -- and there certainly seems to be a shortage of 'em in the Valley of the sun. The Coyotes recently set a new attendance record for the fewest number of tickets sold

Bettman seems to think that once the team is back on stable ground, with a new owner, the fans will come.

We, on the other hand, think that if the team had any shot at going to the playoffs, people might actually want to go see them play


KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
James King
Contact: James King