Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 4/29/13
Coyotes general manager Don Maloney noted in his postmortem press conference Sunday that things had gone deathly silent on the ownership front -- by the NHLs design.That has been mostly true for the last three weeks as the league has attempted to finalize a deal with a buyer to push this process to its next step while keeping a gag order on all potential buyers.But there are encouraging signs for Coyotes fans about the future of this franchise. According to a person who has seen the Renaissance Sports and Entertainment business plan, it appears the groups sole focus is on turning the team around financially and keeping it in Glendale for the long term.Renaissance Sports and Entertainment is the company formed by prospective buyers George Gosbee, Anthony LeBlanc and their two partners, Daryl Jones and Avik Dey (Ice Edge Holdings is defunct despite continued references to it in media accounts).According to the source, the business plan is extensive and focuses on increasing ticket sales, season tickets, corporate sponsorships, suites, realigned partnerships and proper expense management to achieve break-even within the early years of ownership; per a source familiar with documents, the Coyotes lost between 10 and 15 million last season.The group will also be aided by added provisions in the leagues new collective bargaining agreement that help teams in emerging markets by removing some of restrictions placed on them in the previous plans.The source who has seen the plan indicated that a purchase agreement between the league and Renaissance is expected soon perhaps within the next week at which point the group will approach the City of Glendale about a arena management deal with the league that would keep the team in Glendale for the long term.Its difficult to gauge what that means for the other ownership groups because at least two still believe they are in the running, including Darin Pastors group and Greg Jamisons (and perhaps Matthew Hulsizers).Its also difficult to tell if the timeline set for the purchase agreement is real given the numerous delays that have occurred in this process. One deadline that does appear is the May 24 date Glendale created for arena management bids and ideas.The city hired Massachusetts-based sports investment firm Beacon Sports Capital Partners to accept bids from potential Jobing.com Arena managers.Arena managers could include Coyotes ownership groups or third parties. The Glendale City Council approved a deal last year for Greg Jamisons failed bid to buy the team that averaged 15 million a year to Jamison over 20 years.Recent Glendale budget documents have used a 6 million arena management fee as a starting point, but sources indicate the city may be willing to go as high as 10 million.Gosbee and LeBlanc took in Fridays home finale against the Avalanche from a suite just a few doors down from where Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers was sitting, but both declined comment regarding the status of their potential purchase or rumors that a deal is imminent.Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter
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