The three-year saga regarding the Phoenix Coyotes' ownership situation grew even more tenuous in the past few days, raising the possibility...
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The three-year saga regarding the Phoenix Coyotes’ ownership situation grew even more tenuous in the past few days, raising the possibility that the NHL franchise could seek relocation — with Seattle mentioned often in media as a possible destination if efforts to keep the team in Arizona fail.
The latest round in this ownership drama came just before it was supposed to finally end. Former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison reached a preliminary deal to buy the franchise from the NHL last year and worked out a 20-year lease agreement with the city of Glendale worth more than $300 million. The deal was reworked in November, and all Jamison had to do was complete his purchase by 11:59 p.m. Thursday.
Jamison issued a statement saying he would miss the deadline. He said he still wants to buy the team and will need “additional conversations with the city of Glendale and the NHL. We still believe we can reach an agreement that satisfies everyone.”
Glendale and the NHL will issue statements on Friday.
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New Glendale mayor Jerry Weiers has said he will not extend the lease deal, opening up the possibility of other potential bidders to compete with Jamison to buy the team.
If the team were to move, Seattle could be at the forefront of possible new locations with the city poised to build a new arena in the Sodo District that would also house an NBA team.
Don Levin, a Chicago businessman who has said previously he would be interested in helping bring the NHL to Seattle, said in a phone interview he had not had any discussions with anyone about possibly buying the Coyotes.
Levin said he had been informed that Glendale city officials have talked with other possible owners about buying the team and keeping it in Arizona.
“That’s what they want to do, and that’s what the league wants to do,” Levin said. “They don’t like to abandon markets. I think the league wants to do everything it possibly can to keep the team there.”
Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta contributed to this article.