Arizona Coyotes officially moving to Utah after sale is approved

TEMPE, ARIZONA - APRIL 17: The Arizona Coyotes mascot, "Howler" holds up a sign reading "thank you fans" following the NHL game against the Edmonton Oilers at Mullett Arena on April 17, 2024 in Tempe, Arizona. Tonight's game likely marks the end of 28 years for the franchise, playing in the NHL's smallest arena, with an anticipated move to Utah with the team's expected sale to the NBA's Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

TEMPE, Ariz. — The NHL confirmed Thursday that the Arizona Coyotes were sold, clearing the way for the team to move to Salt Lake City, Utah.

>> Read more trending news

Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo, sold the team to Ryan Smith, owner of the NBA’s Utah Jazz, according to KNXV.

The Coyotes were sold for $1.2 billion, according to The Associated Press.

The team plans to move from Arizona to Utah in time for the 2024-2025 season, KNXV reported.

“The NHL’s belief in Arizona has never wavered,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement obtained by the AP. “We thank Alex Meruelo for his commitment to the franchise and Arizona, and we fully support his ongoing efforts to secure a new home in the desert for the Coyotes. We also want to acknowledge the loyal hockey fans of Arizona, who have supported their team with dedication for nearly three decades while growing the game.”

“We expressed our interest publicly with the NHL,” Ryan Smith told the AP. “It’s probably been two years where we’ve said, ‘Hey, look, we really believe Utah can be an incredible hockey town.’ You look at all the demographics, we were just talking about the Olympics and you think about the Olympics coming back. It all kind of made sense.”

Smith will be taking over hockey operations for the team and Meruelo will continue business operations in Arizona so that a new arena can eventually be built in north Phoenix, the AP reported.

The NHL confirmed that Meruelo can get a new stadium for an NHL team built over the next five years which means Phoenix would be granted an expansion team, KNXV reported. This means that the name “Coyotes” would be used in a new Arizona franchise and that the team once in Salt Lake City will get a new name before the next season starts.

Meruelo will continue his ownership over the Tuscon Roadrunners which is an AHL affiliate. Meruelo is hoping to move them to Arizona State University’s Mullet Arena, the AP reported.

Comments on this article
On Air86KONO - Greatest Hits of the 60's and 70's Logo

mobile apps

Everything you love about and more! Tap on any of the buttons below to download our app.

amazon alexa

Enable our Skill today to listen live at home on your Alexa Devices!