The Phoenix Coyotes may have a new owner, according to several media reports.
FOX 10 News in Phoenix, the Fourth Period Magazine and the Phoenix Business Journal report that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is in Glendale, Ariz., to announce a tentative agreement has been struck.
Bettman is expected to make the announcement before Monday's Game 5 of the Coyotes-Nashville Predators playoff series.
However, a top-level NHL source would not confirm to CBC reporter Teddy Katz that an announcement would be made at this point.
The reports say the likely new ownership group is led by Greg Jamison, the former chief executive officer of the San Jose Sharks. Jamison is still a minority owner of the Sharks. It's believed the NHL wants $170-million US for the team the league bought out of bankruptcy back in October of 2009.
While four of seven Glendale council members agreed to move forward on a deal that could pay Jamison $17-million US to manage the city-owned Jobing.com Arena next year, hurdles remain.
The biggest comes from watchdog group the Goldwater Institute.
The group successfully derailed the last bid to Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer, arguing that excessive public financing of private transactions violates the Arizona constitution.
The Goldwater Institute doesn't think any deal, in which the city has to ante up taxpayer dollars to keep the NHL team, is a good deal.
In order to keep the team in Glendale, the city agreed to pay up to $25 million a year to cover the team's losses.
But some members of Glendale's city council believe that it would cost the taxpayers more if the NHL team moves.
According to the Arizona Republic, a study commissioned by Glendale estimates if the team moves the city would have to pay $262 million in arena principal and interest debt. Another analysis projected the city "could expect to bring in an average of $15.7 million annually over a 20-year lease with Jamison and $6.5 million without the Coyotes."
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