Arizona Coyotes Expected to Relocate to Salt Lake City

Travis Dermott of The Arizona Coyotes in September 2023
Travis Dermott of The Arizona Coyotes in September 2023. Photo by Dave Hewison/Speed Media/Shutterstock (14120781bl)

The Arizona Coyotes are close to solving their arena problem, but the solution isn’t the one that hockey fans in Arizona will appreciate. According to multiple reports, the Coyotes are expected to relocate to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Since their lease with the city of Glendale for Desert Diamond Arena expired in 2022, the Coyotes have struggled to find a new home. Their attempt to build a new arena in Tempe fell through, and no viable option has been presented since. They were playing in Arizona State University’s 5,000-seat Mullett Arena this season.

The NHL reportedly stepped in and is working on facilitating the sale of Coyotes to Utah Jazz owners Ryan and Ashley Smith. The Coyotes would play in Delta Center, home of the Jazz, starting next season. The players were already notified about the relocation.

ESPN reports that the Coyotes’ current owner, Alex Meruelo, would be able to keep the Arizona Coyotes’ team name and intellectual property as part of the deal. He would get a chance to re-activate the franchise as an expansion team if he resolves the arena issue in the next five years. Starting an expansion team would reportedly come with a $1 billion fee for Meruelo, the same amount he’ll get from Smiths for the team.

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