Sports Outside the Beltway

NHL trying to find new revenue for cash-strapped Phoenix Coyotes

There is a precedent for the league to take over the financially troubled franchise. From ESPN-

The NHL hasn’t taken over control of the Phoenix Coyotes, but it is taking an active role in trying to find new investors or ownership for the financially strapped franchise and is being kept apprised of any “significant” financial decisions the team makes, has learned from team and league sources.

The league also is trying to help broker changes to the existing lease with the city of Glendale in the hopes of making the situation more attractive to new investors or owners.

Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes is in dire financial straights, with his outside business interests — most notably Swift Transportation, a large trucking firm — having been hammered by high gasoline costs, followed by the dramatic downturn in the economy.

And although team officials say the club has never relied on Swift revenues to run the team, the Coyotes aren’t in much better shape and are expected to lose another $30 million or more this season, on top of the more than $60 million they are reported to have lost the past two years.

With money tight because of the economic downturn, finding a new investor is going to prove difficult to impossible. Can Phoenix maintain a NHL team? Ice Hockey in an area that sometimes sees temperatures in the 110 degree range during does seem out of place.

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