Just over one year after the purchase of the then Phoenix Coyotes by IceArizona to save them from bankruptcy, reports came out on Thursday that there was a possible investor looking to buy the 51% share in the Arizona Coyotes. The team was purchased in 2013 by IceArizona, a group of 9 investors, for $170 million dollars from the NHL. The deal made with the city of Glendale, where Gila River Arena is located, states that if they loose more than $50 million in the first five years of ownership, that they can leave Glendale.
This rumored new buyer, Andrew Barroway, was recently attempting to purchase the New York Islanders for $420 million when things went wrong ending in a lawsuit from Barroway against the then owner Charles Wang. The lawsuit is worth $10 million and will be dropped if Barroway gets the majority deal with the Coyotes.
There is much speculation about whether or not this deal could result in a move for the team, possibly to somewhere that is a rumored spot for a new NHL team (say Vegas or Seattle). The Glendale City Councilman Gary Sherwood says “that [the president of the Coyotes] is not looking to sell the team” but he that it would rather be “an infusion of more money into the club, allowing them to do more. They’re not going anyplace.”
The only official statement that the Coyotes have released said:
“In response to media reports today, the Arizona Coyotes can confirm that IceArizona has been in discussions with an unsolicited potential investor who is interested in joining the partnership. This should be viewed as an incredibly positive development and is due to the successful first year of IceArizona’s ownership. This is all about the long-term stability and viability of the franchise in Arizona. By no means are any members of the current IceArizona group departing the ownership. While there has been no confirmation of any transaction, this is something that the current ownership group is exploring.”