BlackBerry CEO Jim Balsillie's bid to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes and move them to Canada is far from a done deal, but that hasn't stopped Valley hockey fans from organizing a "Save the Coyotes" rally for tomorrow, or requesting that attendees bring their BlackBerry phones to be destroyed in protest.
Courts won't decide the validity of former owner Jerry Moyes' bankruptcy filings until Tuesday, and Moyes' attempt to sell the team has been legally disputed by both the National Hockey League and the city of Glendale. The NHL obtained control of the team last November, and alleges in documents filed in U.S. federal bankruptcy court today that Moyes falsified documents to appear as if he were still in control of the team. Glendale also filed documents today, alleging that moving the Coyotes would violate the "non-relocation covenant" in the team's 30-year lease at Jobing.com Arena.
Many Coyotes fans in the Valley feel certain the team will stay here, including Phoenix Coyotes Booster Club president Heather Schroeder. "They're not going anywhere," she says. "They can't go anywhere."
Still, a rally is planned for tomorrow, and in addition to asking fans to come dressed in white and buy game or season tickets, organizers are now asking people to bring their BlackBerry phones (which can cost up to as much as $380) to be destroyed.
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
Local web developer and Phoenix sports blogger, Paul Martinez, has offered up his Blackberry to show his support for the Phoenix Coyotes and to emphasize the fact that Phoenix sports fans are willing to do anything to help keep their teams in Phoenix.
Paul said that he does not have anything against RiM. "It is a perfectly good device. I just have no use for it now, so I figured I would put it towards a good cause."
The Save the Coyotes Coalition are also encouraging other Blackberry owners to bring their current or past phones for destruction at the event as well.
We can only guess how many (if any) people will decide to steamroll their expensive electronic devices, but if they do, we'll have photos here after Saturday's rally.