Tuesday, December 23, 2008

99.9 percent sure that 99’s team is getting league funding

While the Phoenix Coyotes trumpet a new "economic stimulus plan" for the fans, far away from the less than overworked ticket office, the NHL is apparently working on its own financial stimulus for the cash starved NHL team.

The saga of the financial tribulations of the Phoenix Coyotes continues, with a David Shoalts report in the Globe and Mail, posted on Wednesday night that it’s believed that the NHL is providing advances on shares of league revenue to the Coyotes.

An arrangement that could mean advances of broadcast revenues or advances on revenue sharing paid out to teams at the end of the season, both forms of remuneration can be forwarded by the league without having to seek approval of the Board of Governors.

It’s that internal financial money supply that could be why some governors claiming that they have not heard of any league assistance being provided as of yet, though in the globe story, one league unidentified owner, admitted that they have heard that the Phoenix situation is very bad.

Shoalts has been tracking the woes of the Coyotes for a while now, his last dispatch of early December painting a very troubling picture for the team, one which saw few ways of escape.

The Coyotes have been on the watch list for NHL fans for a while now, they regularly find empty seats greeting their arrival for home games, they have a reported 30 million dollar loss on the go for this year and a cumulative loss of 200 million since Jerry Moyes and former co-owner Steve Ellman purchased the team back in 2001.

Moyes main business interest, Swift Trucking has been hit hard by the American recession and last summers out of sight gas prices, leaving his major form of income in major distress. Since the team can’t seem to find its footing alone on the hockey financial front it’s doubtful that his Trucking company is in the position to lend a financial hand over during these troubled financial times.

The league is apparently assisting the Coyotes in finding alternate financing or potential ownership, but most observers suggest that without bankruptcy and a relocation that would be a hard option to sell to someone.

So far the NHL is keeping a low profile on the troubles in the desert, providing a cryptic comment about how advances on league distributions are not unusual.

They may not be unusual, but they certainly send up red flags and no one will be surprised if the desert dogs soon wander out of the desert, perhaps for more cooler climes, far from the Arizona heat and the rattling chains of the ghost of franchise’s past…

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