For the first time since 2009 the Phoenix Coyotes have an owner, IceArizona. IceArizona is a group composed of several business leaders from across North America. Renaissance sports and entertainment LLC will act as managing partner of IceArizona.
“It has been exhausting yet very rewarding, we are thrilled that we have been able to finally own this franchise and we are just really excited for what the future holds for us,” said Anthony LeBlanc.
LeBlanc and the other members of IceArizona successfully purchased the Coyotes on August 5, 2013.
“It is the first hockey team I have owned and I certainly anticipate it will be the only hockey team I own,” says LeBlanc.
LeBlanc’s background in business and marketing is one of the reasons he is not just the owner of the team, but also the CEO and president.
“I think that is the reason that I am one of the members, or really the only member of ownership group that is here in an operational roll, is I do have a unique background in sales and marketing and we felt that that was one of the key areas that this franchise needed assistance with and I am thrilled to be able to be the person to provide that,” he said.
In addition to his business experience and skills, LeBLanc also brings a passion and love for hockey.
“I think that it would be rare to find a Canadian boy who wouldnΓÇÖt want to own a hockey team, so it is certainly something I have always wanted to be apart of,” LeBlanc says.”But we really realized, well a couple of years ago when we first looked at the franchise, but we really realized at the early part of this year once we partnered with George Gosbee and the rest of the ownership group that this was something that we could really make a reality.”
The new owners are are confident that Phoenix is the right place for a hockey team.
So far the 2013-14 season has gone smoothly despite the ownership transition.
“It has been really solid,” LeBlanc said. “On the ice we are thrilled with how the team is playing and on the business front we focus on three key metrics. Ticket sales are up about 20 percent year-over-year. From a revenue perspective, sponsorships are looking like they are going to be the best year in Coyotes history, and we have sold an additional 12 suites so far this year on a full-time basis and our suite rentals are up almost 100 percent year-over-year.”
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