A group headed Jerry Reinsdorf has withdrawn from purchasing the Phoenix Coyotes. That now leaves Ice Edge Holdings as the only potential buyer that would keep the NHL team in Arizona.
Reinsdorf, owner of the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls, issued a statement Monday night saying "it was time to move on."
The Glendale city council is set to vote Tuesday night on a memorandum of understanding ((MOU)) that gives Ice Edge exclusive negotiating rights for 60 days. Another group could break that clause by giving Glendale the US$25 million outright to cover the money the city has pledged to the NHL to cover the team's losses next season if a sale is not worked out.
A new lease for the Coyotes to play at Jobing.com Arena is a necessary step before Ice Edge can proceed to try to purchase the team from the NHL.
In the statement, the Reinsdorf group, known as Glendale Hockey, called the decision to pull out "a difficult one because of our respect for the mayor, the council and management of the city."
"Ultimately we came to the conclusion it was time to move on," Reinsdorf said. "We were happy to serve a critical role for the City to keep the team in Glendale and we look forward to assisting the city in the future on other projects both as a company and individually."
The statement concluded with the Reinsdorf group wishing "Glendale, its citizens and the fans of the Coyotes the best."
The city council already had approved an MOU with Reinsdorf while rejecting one with Ice Edge. However, city officials later went to Ice Edge hat-in-hand asking it to come back to the bargaining table.
Ice Edge's Daryl Jones has a Tweet from the 4th: Ice Edge will confirm they are back at the table with COG on an exclusive basis. No MOU has been approved or agreed upon thus far.
More after the meeting tonight in Glendale...