Tempest in an Arizona teapot

Hulsizer's not out, but neither is lawsuit


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The silly season is upon us.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/03/2011 (4454 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The silly season is upon us.

Late Friday afternoon — going on the basis of rumours flying around on Twitter — a Winnipeg DJ reported on air that Matthew Hulsizer had ended his bid to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes.

Not so it turns out as Hulsizer continues to work to try and buy the Coyotes and has not told the City of Glendale or the NHL that he is finished.

This, unfortunately, will not be the last mistep in the drama that has the hopes of Winnipeg NHL fans ratcheted beyond tense.

There’s no malice aimed at the DJ who got a little excited and attempted to pass good news on to listeners. Everyone, it seems, wants a piece of this story right now. But slow and steady is perhaps the best approach since the folks around here are getting restless.

Spend a few minutes on the online message boards and you see the best and worst of people.

The passion and pure excitement attached to big league sport can be seen on one thread after another and can be filled with personal attacks aimed at people on both sides of the equation.

Woe is the reporter who reports or opines something to the contrary of the posters.

Most interesting in all of this is how words get twisted. One can say on the radio, “I believe this will happen,” and minutes later the message boards light up attacking the statement. The first post reports what was said but, by the fifth, the original and actual message has been lost.

It results sometimes in anonymous but slanderous attacks. But, as I’ve come to learn on this story more than any other, you better have a thick skin to sit in this chair.

Many are riveted by this story while others don’t want to read another word.

Working hard to collect information and then pass it on to readers and listeners puts you in the line of fire. As my boss likes to remind me, “Half the readers will love what you have to say and the other half will hate it. Deal with it.”

Friday afternoon’s noise was mostly about very little.

Hulsizer has been working with the Goldwater Institute to try and make them better understand his version of the arrangement with Glendale. At the end of the day, Goldwater told the would-be Coyotes purchaser that his latest wrinkle to the deal was a step in the right direction but they still view it to be illegal and will challenge it in court.

Glendale has pledged to sell $116 million in bonds and then purchase parking rights at Arena from Hulsizer to the tune of $100 million. Goldwater says this is a form of corporate welfare and contravenes Arizona constitutional law.

The NHL reportedly has a buyer for the bonds Glendale needs to sell to front Hulsizer the money for the purchase, but those buyers are demanding a high interest rate due to the threat of a lawsuit.

The NHL has stated they plan on going ahead with the deal with or without Goldwater’s blessing.

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