The National Hockey League completed the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes to investors led by Canadian businessmen George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc on Monday ending a four-year saga during which the league operated the team as an ever-changing cast of potential buyers came and went. “It was probably one of the most complicated transactions I’ve worked on in 21 years in the financial business” said Gosbee chairman and CEO of AltaCorp Capital Inc. a Canadian financial-services firm. “It’s every Canadian boy’s dream to own a hockey team” he said. Gosbee said the focus now will move to building a winning organization. The new owners previously reached a 15-year agreement with Glendale to keep the team at Jobing.com Arena where the team has played since 2003. The $170million sale which was approved by the league’s board of governors brought to conclusion a fluctuating story line that featured politics financial hurdles and constant threats of relocation to cities across North America. The league took over the Coyotes in 2009 after the former owner filed the team into bankruptcy and propelled fans and players as well as the city that spent $180million to open the arena into limbo. Brothers Jason and Gabriel Rios of Phoenix and Yuma respectively said that as fans they were pleased that the ownership questions were finally resolved and that the team was destined to stay. “I know there’s a big fan base here. People I work with love the Coyotes and they were pretty bummed out when the negotiations were still going on” said Jason 26 a food-services worker at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. “It’s another pastime that I can come to with friends and family and enjoy a game or two. I’m pretty excited when they reach the playoffs” he said. The sale provides certainty for the franchise and its fans Commissioner Gary Bettman said.
NHL completes sale of Phoenix Coyotes
Arizona Republic | Aug 6