Matthew Hulsizer, the Chicago hedge fund manager who had offered to buy the Phoenix Coyotes, has walked away from the deal, ESPN reports.He was considered the best hope to keep the struggling franchise in Arizona, but as the process dragged on Hulsizer lost interest and withdrew his bid.
The biggest obstacle to a deal was the arena lease agreement between the City of Glendale and the team
Some city officials were so eager to keep the team, they were proposing a new $100 million bond sale, while also agreeing to cover the Coyotes’ losses — about $50 million last year — while the NHL found a new buyer.
However, a government watchdog group had already promised to sue the city if the bond proposal went through. The Goldwater Institute has fought all attempts to use public money to save the team.
So now the NHL is back at square one, desperate to find an acceptable owner who can keep the team in Arizona. A spokesman claims this is not a step backward, but with attendance (and wins) plummeting the teams’ prospects are not great.
Just this month, the Atlanta Thrashers became the Winnipeg Jets after a local owner could not be found.
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