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Monday, August 3, 2009

Disorder In The Court: The Phoenix Coyotes Drag On And On

For those of you still attempting to follow along, the idiocy continued in Phoenix today as once again, the bankruptcy judge refused to bring things to an end. Of course, there are a couple of good reasons the bankruptcy judge didn't bring things to an end, first and foremost being that the idiots running the NHL couldn't get a decent bid from the savior that is supposed to be Jerry Reinsdorf, and Reinsdorf and the other so-called bidder seeking to keep the team in Phoenix begged for a delay in the auction so as to have more time to negotiate with the creditors -- primarily the city of Glendale.

Another reason that the judge couldn't end things today is that there's only one legitimate bid, and that's Jim Balsillie's bid to move the team to Hamilton, but that portion of the auction is scheduled for next month. The judge declared Balsillie's bid to be the "highest and best" of the offers, and it's actually the only one in which creditors will get money.

That's probably why the largest creditor of the Coyotes, SOF Investments, a fund owned by Michael Dell of Dell Computers, appeared in court and said it was only interested in being paid in full and in cash and requested that the court reject the other bids. That should end up having a big influence on the court because the role of the bankruptcy court is to make sure that the creditors get their money back -- and when the largest creditor is happy with only one bid, then that's probably the bid the judge will end up backing.

The matter as to Reinsdorf is now being postponed until September 10 to give Reinsdorf and the mythical bid (mythical because a bid has yet to actually be made) time to get their act together and get not only concessions from the city of Glendale, but also to find a way to make creditors like SOF Investments happy. (There will be a hearing on Wednesday as to whether the relocation auction will be still be held on September 10.)

There are major problems arising with Glendale, and Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes revealed these problems in court filings last Friday. Primarily, Reinsdorf is trying to get a $23 million subsidy from the city over the use of the arena, and that subsidy would be raised by creating a special district around the arena which would charge a so-called voluntary surcharge on retail sales in the district which includes a large mall. More importantly, the district also includes the stadium used by the Arizona Cardinals, and the Cardinals have made it known that they're not happy about this: "The NFL team’s stadium would be in the special district and team president Michael Bidwell was quoted in local media reports as saying it was not fair that Cardinal fans should have to pay for the Coyotes’ problems."

And it gets better, if Glendale couldn't raise the necessary money through the surcharge, the city would end up paying the Coyotes out of city funds, and if, within five years, the team was still not showing a profit and if the city then refused to pay the team $15 million a year, then Reinsdorf would be able to move the team.

And if you have the time, there's a good story from a sister paper to the mothership which reports that there are some very serious shenanigans on the part of Glendale's city manager to make sure a good friend of his (a co-bidder from Reinsdorf) gets the team, and that this city manager has failed to offer up similar deals and concessions to the current owner and any others who might have been interested in the team.

So, in summary, there will be a hearing on Wednesday to determine if the relocation auction originally scheduled for September 10 will still take place on September 10, or whether it will be pushed back so that the incompetent fools chosen by the NHL can attempt to get their act together in time for another auction on keeping the team in Phoenix on September 10. Further, the judge likes the Balsillie bid. The largest creditor likes the Balsillie bid and has stated it wants to be paid in full and in cash. There's some shady business dealings going on between the city of Glendale and Jerry Reinsdorf, and even the Arizona Cardinals are against the Coyotes.

At this point, I think we should all be happy that George W. Bush put Mike Brown in charge of FEMA and not Gary Bettman because I can't help getting the feeling that the Gulf Coast would still be under water from Katrina if Bettman was running things.

P.S.: For a little fun, here's some real disorder in the court.

6 comments:

Fred Trask said...

Thanks so much for the video John, it explains everything!

FinnAir said...

Not sure whether this has been mentioned here before but I have completely missed it. According to the Amerks blog Anaheim and Phoenix will share San Antonio next season. More interesting prospects, harder to beat.

AiH said...

At what point will common sense prevail? Will it prevail?

I know Bettman is worried this will set a dangerous precedent, but the writing is on the wall. The Coyotes aren't going to be profitable in Arizona. Time to move this original Canadian franchise back north.

John Royal said...

@AiH: This isn't about Phoenix anymore. It's turning into some death match between Gary Bettman and Jim Balsillie, only as with most of Bettman's actions, it is harming the league.

There could be more bad league news later today as the Islanders are supposed to find out whether they are getting their new arena, or not. I've read that if they don't get the new arena, they are going to look to move out of the New York area.

@FinnAir: Yes, I saw the same thing. That's the result of the debacle in Des Moines regarding the owners of the Chops. And yes, that will probably make San Antonio a little more difficult to beat.

Forecheck said...

John -

You also have the old Monty Python one about the guilty, I mean defendant, up on a slew of charges including (all together now) "assaulting a police officer".

Remember that oone?

John Royal said...

I completely forgot about the Python skit last night. And I'm sure there's got to a Marx Brothers bit that also works.