Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Sunday, May 17, 2009
The Globe and Mail has reported that Gary Bettman would consider a move of the Phoenix Coyotes to Winnipeg but not to Hamilton.
The Arizona Republic has reported how desperate Glendale city officials are to keep the Coyotes in the community. The city went into debt the pay for the $220 million arena. Moving the team would cost $2.4 million and hurt area businesses.
The problem is that the Coyotes are a money losing operation and Glendale can't force the operation to operate unless they want to underwrite the whole team. The NHL appears to be trying to assert that they own the team now and that they can sell it to who they want. Apparently, the person they want to see to is Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf.
Balsillie has now indicated that he is willing to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix if it is too late to move them for this upcoming season due to scheduling.
The whole thing is a mess and until the bankruptcy proceedings are complete, it is difficult to see who can make decisions on Phoenix's future.
Winnipeg is a pawn that rates a mention because it may end up the landing zone of the team if all the other machinations fail.
The National Post is reporting that the snag in the Hamilton bid is the $120 million renovation that Copps Coliseum will need to get HHL ready.
I was a fan of the Jets. I still have an original Jets jacket. I don't think Winnipeg Jets fans should get too excited. At the moment all the discussions of bringing a team back to Winnipeg are at a level that doesn't included any Winnipeggers. Until that happens, it is doubtful we are going to see a team in the city.
In all likelihood, there is some other sucker who will foot the costs of Phoenix Coyotes in their present arena.