Alex Meruelo and Gary Bettman
Photo credit: Markerzone

Arizona Coyotes suffer unexpected setback on their return to the NHL

Published June 21, 2024 at 5:49 PM

The Arizona Coyotes could be gone for good after next week's land auction for their proposed future arena site was cancelled.

Arizona Cardinals reporter Craig Morgan was the first to break the news this afternoon, confirming that the state of Arizona has cancelled the land auction that was set to take place next Thursday. This is a major setback for the Coyotes franchise, which has just five years to get a building completed if they are to be readmitted into the NHL.

Breaking: The Arizona State Land Department has cancelled the auction.

As part of the deal that sent the Coyotes to Utah, former owner Alex Meruelo was given the rights to the team name and branding for five years. If he can build the infrastructure needed to support the team in that time, we could see the team reborn. If not, they may be lost to time. NHL insider Elliotte Friedman confirmed the news shortly after Morgan broke it.

Full details in this thread, but per @CraigSMorgan, next week's land auction that could have determined the future of an NHL hockey arena in Arizona is cancelled

It appears as though the reasoning for the cancellation has to do with the permits required for the project. The Arizona State Land Department released a statement this afternoon announcing the auction's cancellation, and provided adequate reasoning for the move, citing the need for a special use permit to build the proposed arena district.

After much consideration, the Arizona State Land Department (ASLD) has determined that it is in the best interest of the trust to cancel the auction and reorder the steps. ASLD recently confirmed that the proposed arena will require a special use permit, and as a result we are requesting that the applicant file for and receive a special use permit prior to the auction. This affords the applicant and ASLD certainly that the applicant build what it intends to build for its anchor tenant. It is not uncommon for ASLD to require applicants to secure zoning/use permits prior to auction.

The full statement can be seen below.

At this point, it seems more likely than not that the Coyotes will never return to Arizona. Hopefully for the fan's sake, that is not true, but we continue to see incompetence from Meruelo and his team. Be sure to stay tuned for future updates on this story as Meruelo attempts to earn his team back.

Source: HouseofHockey
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Arizona Coyotes suffer unexpected setback on their return to the NHL

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