Arizona Coyotes may move to Salt Lake City: Updates

The Arizona Coyotes have been in the headlines this week amid reports of a potential move to Salt Lake City at the end of this season. While relocation rumors are not new for the team, speculation intensified earlier this week regarding a possible move to Utah. Reports suggest that the NHL is drafting two versions of the Coyotes’ schedule for next season, with one featuring games at Arizona State’s Mullett Arena and the other at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, home of the NBA’s Utah Jazz.

Salt Lake City has emerged as a front-runner for the Coyotes’ potential relocation, with Smith Entertainment Group (SEG), the parent company of the Jazz, formally requesting an expansion process to bring an NHL team to Utah. Ryan Smith, chairman of SEG and governor of the Jazz, has been in talks with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman about this move since 2022. If the relocation goes through, Delta Center would serve as an interim home arena for the franchise.

Meanwhile, Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo has been working on plans to build a $3 billion entertainment district in Phoenix, including a 17,000-seat professional hockey arena. The Coyotes hope to purchase the land for this project at an auction in June, with bids starting at nearly $70 million. Reports suggest that Smith’s reported $1 billion purchase of the team would grant him the right to reactivate the franchise within five years through an expansion franchise if an arena is constructed.

Amidst the uncertainty, Meruelo has been unable to address the public due to unresolved issues but has promised to address concerns promptly. The players and coaching staff are also navigating the rumors, with general manager Bill Armstrong reportedly informing the team of the impending move to Salt Lake City. The Tucson Roadrunners, the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate, could potentially stay in Arizona under new ownership but may relocate to Tempe in the future.

As the Coyotes navigate this period of transition, the team remains focused on their performance on the ice. The players and staff are taking it day by day, adjusting to the latest developments while continuing to compete in their games. The future of the Coyotes and their affiliates remains uncertain, but one thing is for sure – change is on the horizon for this NHL franchise.

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