By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
August 16, 2013
It’s been a banner week for the NHL regarding sales of troubled franchises. After four years of bankruptcy proceedings and relocation threats, the league finally sold the Phoenix Coyotes for $170 million to a group pledging to keep the team in Glendale. Ironically, the new ownership group is made up of four individuals who didn’t even know each other just seven months ago. The group’s plans for the team include signing a long-term local TV deal, finding a new concessionaire, and boosting sponsorship and suite sales.
At the same time, Jeff Vanderbeek agreed to sell the New Jersey Devils to Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris for $320 million. The deal includes the right to manage the Prudential Center for events such as concerts. Vanderbeek reportedly has had money problems in recent years, and at one point, his team needed to borrow money from the league to cover its liabilities. Together, the timing of the Devils and Coyotes sales indicate confidence in the league moving forward.