A “pending” deal to keep the Phoenix Coyotes NHL franchise in Arizona

A “pending” deal to keep the Phoenix Coyotes NHL franchise in Arizona is in the works, and might take a bit of giddiness out of Mayor Mike McGinn’s new sports arena plan. The $700 to $900 million project he announced last week needs commitments from NHL and NBA teams before it becomes reality, and the bankrupt Coyotes seemed the most viable rink candidate. Still, arena backer Chris Hansen, who plans to invest $300 million of his personal fortune in the project, has time and options on his side. The National Hockey League-owned Coyotes are on the verge of being sold to a group led by former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison, according to latest reports. The $170 million “pending sale” would keep the team playing in the desert market, says the Phoenix Business Journal.

That doesn’t mean the troubled franchise, even with new owners, won’t be available next season if it continues to lose money and suffer at the gate – especially if Hansen and his secret ArenaCo investment group make Jamison an irresistible offer to play in a big new arena in a slightly larger market. As well, other struggling teams, such as the New York Islanders, are potential Seattle arena tenants.Insiders familiar with Hansen’s plans says he’s focused primarily on owning an NBA franchise to play in the proposed 18,000 seat SoDo arena, and is eying teams in Sacramento, New Orleans and Charlotte. Hansen needs an NHL team to make the deal pencil out, but he might have to move ahead with only an NBA commitment in hopes of subsequently luring a hockey franchise, observers speculate.Hansen appears to have the money to do what he’s promised. His Valiant Capital Partners hedge fund in San Francisco has assets of $2.1 billion, according to the trade magazine AR (Absolute Return), although Hansen has not said whether any of his investment money or clients are directly involved with ArenaCo. He has promised a personal financial commitment of at least $300 million, says King County Executive Dow Constantine – “his own money,” as the exec puts it. Altogether, Hansen and his partners propose to come up with roughly $300 million for the arena and a minimum $200 million (it could take as much as $400 million) for a basketball team. With another $200 million for arena construction from taxpayers that would be paid back through arena revenue, the $700 million outlay would mean a new facility, the NBA and the NHL for Seattle. It will likely take months, perhaps a year, before we know whether Hansen is any good from the three-point range.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

This screenshot from Auburn Police Department bodycam footage shows an officer about to fire his weapon and kill dog on May 13, 2022.
Auburn police shoot dog, and owner claims it wasn’t justified

See videos of attack as well as bodycam footage of officer firing at dog.

File photo.
King County Council approves creation of Cannabis Safety Taskforce amid rash of dispensary robberies

The multi-agency task force will cooperate to find ways to improve safety in the cash-only industry.

Screenshot from ORCA website
New ORCA system launches for regional transit across the Puget Sound

Overhaul includes new website, mobile application and digital business account manager.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII (Episode 4): Foster mom wants accountability in Auburn cop’s upcoming murder trial

Special podcast series explores Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Diane Renee Erdmann and Bernard Ross Hansen. Photos courtesy of FBI
FBI arrests Auburn couple after 11-day manhunt

The couple was previously convicted for fraud and skipped sentencing on April 29.

Screenshot from Barnes and Noble website
Cover art of books that KSD Librarian Gavin Downing says have been under fire: “Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts),” by Lev A.C. Rosen, “If I Was Your Girl,” by Meredith Russo, and “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” by George Matthew Johnson.
Kent middle school librarian wins intellectual freedom award

Gavin Downing refused to keep ‘silence in the library’ amid attempted book banning and censorship.

t
Kent elementary school teacher accused of using racist language toward student

River Ridge Elementary instructor placed on administrative leave by Kent School District.

FILE PHOTO: King County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
Dozens of King County Sheriff’s Office employees left jobs instead of getting vaccinated

This added on to the existing number of vacancies in the department.

Joann and Allan Thomas are flanked in court by their attorneys Terrence Kellogg (fourth from the right) and John Henry Browne (far right) on May 10, 2022. Judge Richard Jones is presiding over the case. Sketch by Seattle-based artist Lois Silver
At drainage district corruption trial, it’s a tale of dueling conspiracies

Allan and Joann Thomas are in trial in Seattle on fraud charges.

Most Read