While only a small percentage of Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings garner the attention of the American public, a bankruptcy petition involving a “big four” professional sports franchise (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL) is big news to the American sports world. Perhaps the reason is that few, if any, commercial entities make such a passionate connection with its customers as professional sports teams.
In comparison to the other members of the “big four”, the NHL simply does not have the same level of financial success. Almost half of the 30 NHL franchises lost money in the 2011-2012 season. Of the nine “big four” franchises to file for bankruptcy in the past forty years, six are in the NHL (67%). The Phoenix Coyotes hold the inglorious distinction of being one of the six NHL franchises that has lost money every season dating back to the previous lockout of 2005.
Rowe, Chris and Upshaw, Jeff, "In re Dewey Ranch Hockey, LLC: The Bankruptcy of the Phoenix Coyotes" (2013). Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Case Studies.