Skip to main content

Phoenix Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes will operate the team on a day-to-day basis for now, a U.S. bankruptcy judge ruled Wednesday.

Ross D. Franklin/AP

Anyone considering buying a sports team might want to consider the fate of Phoenix businessman Jerry Moyes, who is the majority owner of the Phoenix Coyotes.

Moyes, whose main business interests involve transportation companies, became a part owner of the Coyotes in 2001, five years after it moved from Winnipeg. He teamed up with Steven Ellman, who had grand plans for a major real estate development in Glendale, a Phoenix suburb where the Coyotes play. The development included the Jobing.com Arena, which the city helped build through $180-million(all currency U.S.) in financing.

Over the next five years, Moyes lent the club more than $230-million.

Story continues below advertisement

In September of 2006, the partners split. Ellman took control of the real estate development, called Westgate City Center Development, and Moyes took over the Coyotes and management of the Jobing.com Arena.

Some of Moyes' loans were repaid through the restructuring but most of the debt, $147-million, was converted into equity, court filing show.

Almost immediately, Moyes lent the club $5-million. But that didn't last long and he was soon pumping in more and more cash. By 2007, Moyes was owed $51-million, according to court filings. The following year the amount increased to $91-million and when the club filed for bankruptcy protection on May 5, 2009, Moyes said he was owed $104-million.

In court filings, lawyers for Balsillie estimate Moyes has lost more than $300-million in total since he became involved with the Coyotes.

The club has never turned a profit, they add, and lost more than $30-million last season.

While Moyes claims he is owed more than $100-million, the NHL and city officials in Glendale are not so sure. They argue his claim should be treated as equity instead of debt. If that holds up in court, the Coyotes total debt would be cut roughly in half.

Report an error
About the Author
European Correspondent

Paul Waldie has been an award-winning journalist with The Globe and Mail for more than 10 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards for business coverage and been nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism. He has also won a Sports Media Canada award for sports writing and authored a best-selling biography of the McCain family. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.