After their recent setback in attempts to construct a state-of-the-art arena and an exciting entertainment hub in Tempe, the Arizona Coyotes are aiming for greener pastures. In an announcement made on Wednesday, the Coyotes revealed that their owner, Alex Meruelo, has turned his attention to Mesa, hoping to establish a permanent home for the team within Arizona.
In a twist of fate this past May, the voters of Tempe rejected the Coyotes’ ambitious proposal for a new arena, coupled with an entertainment district and even residential accommodations in the vicinity. The franchise was left with no choice but to hit the reset button and brainstorm an alternative plan for a lasting solution in Arizona. Now, it appears that Alex Meruelo has spotlighted Mesa as a potential contender for the Coyotes’ future dwelling.
The team’s official announcement disclosed that Meruelo has already taken action by “executing a Letter of Intent to acquire a section of land situated in Mesa, Arizona.” The Coyotes, in no uncertain terms, stated their commitment to anchoring the franchise in Arizona on a permanent basis, effectively quashing rumors that the team might consider relocating within the coming years.
The statement released by the Coyotes reads, “We are truly grateful for the overwhelming support we’ve received from various communities, elected officials, and community leaders. They’ve all vocally advocated for the Coyotes to plant their roots firmly in the Valley for good.” The team further extended their gratitude to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly for their unwavering backing of the franchise’s pursuit to find a lasting solution for an arena. Notably, the League leadership recognized the potent hockey market that Arizona represents.
The Coyotes, though, added a note that they will also be actively exploring other potential locations in the East Valley.
In the present scenario, the Coyotes are making do with Mullett Arena, sharing space with Arizona State University’s vibrant hockey program. Ever since the conclusion of the 2021-22 season, during which the Coyotes bid farewell to Gila River Arena, the team sealed a deal with Arizona State to host their matches at Mullett Arena. This agreement is set to persist at least until the culmination of the 2024-25 season, with an option for extension into the 2025-26 season.
In a bid to escape the shadows of the NHL standings, the Coyotes have been busy bolstering their roster this offseason. Notable acquisitions such as Sean Durzi, Jason Zucker, Alexander Kerfoot, and Matt Dumba have injected fresh energy into the team. As they strive to climb the ranks and leave behind their spot at the bottom, the Coyotes’ quest for stability in the desert continues. Just like an exciting sports match, their journey is packed with twists and turns, both on and off the ice.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about NHL team relocation
What was the Coyotes’ previous plan and why did it fail?
The Coyotes’ previous plan involved building a new arena, entertainment district, and residential housing in Tempe. However, this proposal was rejected by Tempe voters, leading to its failure.
Why is Alex Meruelo considering Mesa as a new location?
Following the setback in Tempe, Coyotes’ owner Alex Meruelo has turned to Mesa in search of a permanent home for the team within Arizona.
What is the significance of the “Letter of Intent” mentioned?
The “Letter of Intent” signifies that Alex Meruelo has taken a concrete step towards purchasing a parcel of land in Mesa, Arizona, indicating his commitment to finding a new arena site.
Will the Coyotes remain in Arizona for the long term?
Yes, the Coyotes are determined to keep the franchise in Arizona on a permanent basis, dispelling rumors of potential relocation in the coming years.
How has the community responded to the Coyotes’ plans?
The Coyotes have received tremendous support from various communities, elected officials, and community leaders who want the team to stay in the Valley permanently.
What role have NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly played?
Both Gary Bettman and Bill Daly have shown unwavering support for the Coyotes’ efforts to secure a permanent arena solution and have recognized Arizona as a strong hockey market.
What other options are the Coyotes considering?
While focusing on Mesa, the Coyotes are also exploring potential sites in the East Valley as part of their search for a suitable location.
Where are the Coyotes currently playing their home matches?
The Coyotes are currently sharing Mullett Arena with Arizona State University’s hockey program after losing Gila River Arena. They have a deal in place to play there until at least the 2024-25 season.
What changes have the Coyotes made to their roster?
During the offseason, the Coyotes have upgraded their roster with additions like Sean Durzi, Jason Zucker, Alexander Kerfoot, and Matt Dumba as they strive to improve their performance in the NHL.
What is the team’s main goal at the moment?
As they aim to climb out of the lower ranks in the NHL standings, the Coyotes’ primary objective is to find stability and a permanent home, ensuring a brighter future for the franchise.