On The Move: Where Will The Coyotes Play?
At this point, it would take a minor miracle to move the Phoenix Coyotes for the 2009-10 season; however the possibility that this could be the team’s last season in Arizona is becoming more likely.
Yesterday, I wrote about a new group interested in purchasing the Coyotes with intentions of playing some games in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan or Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Today, news broke that NHL officials will meet with Ice Edge Holdings to discuss their potential bid and with Jim Balsillie about his current bid.
One topic almost certain to be discussed is the negative ramifications of having two home arenas.
Precedent set in other sports shows that when a team resorts to splitting time between two cities, a full-fledged relocation isn’t far behind.
According to the Hamilton Spectator:
“The Save The Coyotes Coalition, a fan group dedicated keeping the team in Glendale, ‘is going to hate this idea,’ says president Heather McWhorter. ‘Nothing says one foot out the door quite like playing home games somewhere other than home.’”
But with little interest in bidders keeping the team in town, more suitors are coming forward, and with them, more cities are being discussed.
“It’s believed NHL brass are talking to prospective owners about relocating the team in Las Vegas or Kansas City if it comes to a second auction,” wrote John Kernaghan. He added that Winnipeg could be an option, as well.
When it comes down to it, NHL executives and the NHL Board of Governors must determine which bidder makes the best offer for the NHL.
In the past, the NHL made poor relocation and expansion decisions, leaving sunbelt/desert cities such as Phoenix, Atlanta, and Ft. Lauderdale to struggle to support their teams.
The last thing the NHL needs is to repeat the current events in another 10 years.