Final bids are due by the end of Friday for the National Hockey League's Phoenix Coyotes in federal bankruptcy court in Arizona, even as the team disclosed it continued to lose money last season.
The Coyotes filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May, and an auction that is limited to bidders who will keep the team in the Phoenix area is scheduled for August 5.
So far, only one bid has been tendered, a $148 million offer by Chicago White Sox baseball team owner Jerry Reinsdorf. Earlier in July, a second group, fronted by Daryl Jones, a managing partner with New Haven, Connecticut-based research firm Research Edge LLC, said it was considering placing a bid.
If the bid by Reinsdorf or any others are deemed inadequate, a second auction would be held on September 10 and open to bidders who have the option to relocate the team.
Reinsdorf's offer is conditional on winning a new lease for the Coyotes' home arena and winning concessions from creditors.
The Coyotes lost $67.1 million last season, according to court documents filed on Thursday.
When the hockey team filed for bankruptcy, Canadian billionaire James Balsillie, co-chief executive of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, offered to buy the team for $212.5 million on the condition that it relocate to Ontario. The NHL, however, has been adamant about keeping the team in Glendale, a Phoenix suburb.
Balsillie has argued that the Coyotes team, which is coached and partly owned by hockey's all-time leading scorer Wayne Gretzky, cannot be profitable in the Phoenix area.
It has never made a profit since moving to Arizona from Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1996.
The case is in Re: Dewey Ranch Hockey LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Arizona, No. 09-488.
(Reporting by Phil Wahba, editing by Matthew Lewis)