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NHL, Gosbee/LeBlanc group to meet with Glendale

Prospective ownership group, NHL to meet Tuesday with Glendale to discuss Coyotes arena deal.

UPDATE: The scheduled Tuesday meeting between the NHL, the Gosbee/LeBlanc group and the City of Glendale was postponed on Monday due to a last-minute scheduling/logistics conflict. The plan was to reschedule for later in the week, but a date has not been set.

The NHL’s search for a new Coyotes owner will apparently enter its next stage this week. 

Sources familiar with the situation confirmed that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and prospective buyers George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc will meet with City of Glendale officials on Tuesday as they open negotiations on a lease agreement for Jobing.com Arena.

Included in that meeting will be Glendale mayor Jerry Weiers, acting city manager Dick Bowers and possibly city council members.

It is unclear if this meeting signals that the NHL has chosen Renaissance Sports and Entertainment as the Coyotes’ exclusive buyer. Sources had indicated previously that the league would select one buyer before approaching Glendale to hammer out a deal, but it appears the NHL will give the other groups time to present their bids before moving forward.  

Matthew Hulsizer's group is still believed to be pursuing the team, and neither Greg Jamison’s group nor Darin Pastor’s group has been told that it is out of the running. The latter two groups are expected to present bids soon, with Pastor's likely coming by May 10, but neither group would confirm those dates or comment on the process.

"Aggressively fighting to win," was all Pastor texted while taking in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. "No joke!"

Renaissance Sports and Entertainment is the company formed by Gosbee, LeBlanc and their two partners, Daryl Jones and Avik Dey.

As FOX Sports Arizona reported last week, Renaissance’s focus is on keeping the team in Glendale for the long term, while their business plan focuses on getting the club back on solid financial ground in the short term.

Per a source familiar with documents, the Coyotes lost between $10 million and $15 million in 2011-12. But a new ownership group would be aided by added provisions in the league’s new collective bargaining agreement that help teams in emerging markets by removing some of the revenue-sharing restrictions placed on them in the previous plan.

The City of Glendale had set a May 24 deadline for receiving arena management bids and ideas and hired Massachusetts-based sports investment firm Beacon Sports Capital Partners to accept bids from potential Jobing.com Arena managers.

Arena managers could include the Coyotes ownership group or third parties. The Glendale City Council approved a deal last year in connection with Greg Jamison’s failed bid to buy the team that would have paid Jamison an average of $15 million a year over 20 years.

Recent Glendale budget documents have used a $6 million arena management fee as a placeholder, but sources indicate the city might be willing to go as high as $10 million or $12 million if the Coyotes remain at Jobing.com Arena. There are other details of the deal to be worked out as well, including the term and numerous potential revenue streams.

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