NHL engaged on contingency plan to probably promote, relocate Arizona Coyotes to Salt Lake Metropolis: report

The Coyotes’ future in Arizona is unsure. Final Might, voters rejected the NHL franchise’s plan for a multibillion-dollar leisure district in Tempe.

The workforce continues to play house video games at Mullett Enviornment on the campus of Arizona State University throughout the ongoing 2023-24 season. The ability can solely seat 5,000 spectators. The workforce additionally performed within the enviornment all through the 2022-23 season.

Amid the uncertainly surrounding the workforce’s future, the NHL seems to be engaged on a contingency plan that might consequence within the franchise’s relocation to Salt Lake Metropolis by as early as subsequent season, ESPN reported.


View of an Arizona Coyotes jersey

View of an Arizona Coyotes emblem on a jersey worn by a member of the workforce throughout the third interval on the Bell Centre in Montreal on Oct. 20, 2022. (David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports activities)

After potential proprietor Ryan Smith solicited earlier this week options for a workforce title, phrase emerged Wednesday that the league has been engaged on contingency plans in case the Coyotes transfer this summer time. Smith additionally owns the Utah Jazz.

The NHL has been engaged on two schedule drafts for subsequent season in case the workforce is in Arizona or taking part in beneath a distinct title in Utah, an individual aware of the planning instructed The Associated Press.


The schedule for subsequent season is often launched in late June, after the Stanley Cup is handed out, across the draft and earlier than free company opens July 1. Commissioner Gary Bettman, when requested final month concerning the schedule and the potential contingency plans, stated solely, “We still have some time.”

Whereas the NHL, Coyotes and Smith Leisure Group declined touch upon the dual-schedule report, different machinations are underway to arrange for potential relocation.

If a sale to Smith occurs quickly, it will come after months of hypothesis after he introduced in January not solely his curiosity in having an NHL membership in Salt Lake Metropolis, however the means to make that occur instantly. Smith’s group requested on the time for the initiation of an enlargement course of, one thing a number of teams in Atlanta are additionally anticipating.

General view of Mullett Arena

Common view exterior of Mullett Enviornment earlier than the NHL recreation between the Arizona Coyotes and the Winnipeg Jets on October 28, 2022 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photograph by Christian Petersen/Getty Photos)

The Coyotes have seemingly been on shaky floor for the reason that workforce’s former majority proprietor Jerry Moyes drove the franchise into chapter 11 in 2009. The workforce appeared to realize some stability after they performed on the then-Gila River Enviornment, which was positioned simply exterior of Phoenix in Glendale. Nonetheless, town ultimately pulled out of a lease settlement in 2015 and the Coyotes lease was terminated after the 2021-22 season.

The workforce’s newest plans revolve round a 95-acre parcel of land in north Phoenix. The Arizona State Land Division chosen June 27 because the date for public sale of the land. The beginning bid has been set at $68.5 million.

Coyotes logo

The Arizona Coyotes kachina emblem at middle ice earlier than the NHL hockey recreation between the St. Louis Blues and the Arizona Coyotes on Oct. 18, 2021 at Gila River Enviornment in Glendale, Arizona. (Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Photos)

If the Coyotes find yourself successful the public sale, Coyotes workforce president Xavier Gutierrez stated building would probably start someday subsequent yr. “We hope to drop the puck in the fall of 2027,” Gutierrez famous.

An enviornment already exists in downtown Salt Lake Metropolis, and the Jazz possession plan requires utilizing the Delta Middle as a brief house for a hockey workforce till a brand new constructing is constructed. That group has been speaking to the league since 2022.


“During conversations over the course of the past two years, we have been impressed by Ryan and Ashley Smith’s commitment to their community and their passion and vision for Utah, not only as a hockey market but as a preeminent sports and entertainment destination,” the NHL stated in an announcement in January. “Utah is a promising market, and we look forward to continuing our discussions.”

The NHL has stated it has no present plans to increase past 32 groups, regardless of hypothesis over potential additions in Salt Lake Metropolis, Atlanta and Houston.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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