Calgary flooding keeps Gosbee from fateful Glendale vote

Renaissance Sports and Entertainment principal George Gosbee wanted to be in Glendale on Tuesday night for the pivotal city council vote that should decide the Coyotes’ fate, but there were more important matters at hand. 


Gosbee, who heads a group of Canadian investors hoping to buy the Coyotes, lost his home in the floods that ravaged Calgary in late June. After salvaging some possessions, Gosbee said the plan was to board up the house Tuesday.


“My house is going to be torn down,” he said. “We saved as much as we could.”


Gosbee is an intensely private man and has been reluctant to share details of his ordeal, but when the floods hit and the order for evacuation came for his neighborhood on the Elbow River, Gosbee was watching the NBA Finals.


“I asked them if I could at least stay until the end of the game,” he said, laughing. 


Gosbee has managed to keep a sense of humor, but when he grabbed his son and finally evacuated, there was nothing amusing about the setting.


“The streets were already flooding by the time we drove away,” he said. “When the surge hit, it was like a tsunami hit the house and the entire neighborhood. The water levels came up 20 feet.”


Gosbee praised the efforts of hockey players from a variety of leagues for helping the city dig out of the tragedy and rebuild.


“I have a newfound appreciation for hockey players because they are some of the most dedicated and hardest workers I’ve ever seen,” he said. “The community really came together, and it has been amazing to watch.”


Gosbee said he had originally planned to attend the council’s final vote.


“I wish I could be there because it’s a deal we’ve worked tirelessly on for six months,” he said. “I’m just hoping for the best.


“In the meantime, I need to find a place to live. Maybe it will be in Phoenix.”


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