New Rival In Fight For Coyotes 2009: Court Weighs

New rival in fight for Coyotes

As court weighs claims for Coyotes, B.C.
man wants in Story tools presented by Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie’s fight for a National Hockey League team is being waged in a U.S. courtroom and in the mayor’s office of the southwestern Ontario city where he hopes to relocate the Phoenix Coyotes. At the same time, lawyers for Mr. Balsillie met with city officials from Hamilton to discuss securing a lease option for Copps Coliseum, the arena where the Coyotes would play if they were relocated to Canada. But sources confirmed that some members of Hamilton city council prefer to entertain a competing suitor, Vancouver-based Tom Gaglardi, rather than deal exclusively with Mr. Balsillie, who has been working to bring an NHL team to the economically depressed city for the past few years. “It’s part of the planning … ensuring there are options in the event that Mr. Balsillie is able to purchase the franchise and that there is a place for the team to play in the near term,” explained Bill Walker, a spokesman for the RIM executive. Sources close to the NHL said that Mr. Gaglardi has made contact with the league’s head office in New York during the last few days.
Mr. Gaglardi, a prominent hotel industry executive, had been involved in an attempt to purchase the Vancouver Canucks in 2004 but was ousted from the ownership partnership led by current owner Francesco Aquillini.

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