Sunday, November 10, 2013

In re Dewey Ranch Hockey, LLC case brief

In re Dewey Ranch Hockey, LLC case brief summary
414 B.R. 577 (2009)

Debtors, a National Hockey League team and three related entities, filed chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization cases. The National Hockey League (NHL) and a partnership submitted two competing bids to purchase the team to the court.

The partnership wanted the court to order the sale of the team to the partnership, including authorizing the relocation of the team to Canada, pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 363(f)(4). The NHL had three claimed rights/interests at issue: (1) a membership selection right; (2) the right to control where its members played their home hockey games; and (3) the right to a relocation fee, if appropriate. If the NHL ultimately prevailed in litigation on these issues and the team had already moved to Canada in the interim, there would have been no adequate protection of the NHL's interest.

The clear statutory statement in 11 U.S.C.S. § 363(e)required the court to prohibit any sale where the interests sought to be removed by the proposed sale free and clear of such interests could not have been adequately protected. There were multiple factors that supported the NHL's bid. However, the apparent practical effect of the NHL's bid was to pay all creditors in full except for two claimants. It would have been inherently unjust for the court to deprive the claimants of their possible rightful share of any proceeds without first providing all involved a fair trial on their claims.


The partnership's bid was denied, with prejudice. The NHL's bid was denied, without prejudice.

Suggested Study Aid For Sports Law

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