Naylor: Hulsizer sweetens offer to keep Coyotes in Glendale

Dave Naylor

3/21/2011 10:21:00 AM

Would-be Phoenix Coyotes buyer Matthew Hulsizer is willing to change the terms of his deal in hopes of completing a sale for the NHL team that is running out of time.

Speaking during the intermission of Sunday's Coyotes-Blackhawks game, Hulsizer said he is willing to guarantee $75 million worth of the $116 million in bonds the City of Glendale has been trying to sell to complete the sale.

The sale agreement calls for Hulsizer to receive a $100 million payment from the city in order to complete a $170 million purchase from the NHL, which bought the team out of bankruptcy late in 2009.

Hulsizer is hoping that such a guarantee will be enough to back-off the Goldwater Institute, a conservative tax payer advocate group that has promised to sue the City of Glendale if the deal closes. Hulsizer, the NHL and Goldwater have all fingered the possibility of a Goldwater lawsuit as the reason the bonds have not yet sold.

“We, on Friday, sent a letter to Goldwater to make it brain dead simple,” Hulsizer said during tonight's telecast. “We said ‘Look, we're going to take the $100 million you get $25 million back. $75 million will guarantee it.'”

It is believed the $25 million to which Hulsizer is referring is the amount the city would have to contribute to the Coyotes 2010-11 losses if the team is not sold. The city committed that amount last spring as a condition for the NHL to operate the team in Glendale for another season but is not obligated to pay the amount if a deal goes through.

Hulsizer made no mention of whether there would be any change to the part of the deal that calls for him to be paid $97 million to manage Arena for five-and-a-half years.

On its website, the Goldwater Institute suggests it does not believe the city is receiving fair value from Hulsizer for that portion of the deal.

“Mr. Hulsizer is not providing roughly proportionate value for the payments he will receive from the city,” the website states.

The Goldwater Institute could not be reached for comment Sunday evening.