Arizona Coyotes Owner Issues Statement Amid Rumors Team Is Relocating to Utah

Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo addressed the franchise’s uncertain future on Saturday.

Coyotes players were informed Friday that the franchise is relocating to Utah, per multiple reports. Although nothing is official, recent reports indicate the NHL is looking to facilitate a sale of the Coyotes to Utah Jazz owners Ryan and Ashley Smith.

“There has been a lot of discussion in recent days about the future of the Arizona Coyotes,” Meruelo said Saturday in a statement. “I understand and empathize with the concerns of our fans, our community, our partners, our players, our front office and all of our team members. I hope to address these issues as soon as I am able to speak on the topics.

“We are focused on a myriad of issues that are unresolved, and therefore we are unable to make any official public comments at this time. However, you have my commitment that I am going to speak on all of these issues and publicly address all of your concerns as promptly as possible.”

If the sale to the Smith family is finalized, the Coyotes reportedly would begin playing games at the Delta Center—the Jazz’s home stadium—next season while a new hockey arena is built in Salt Lake City.

Meruelo has been searching for a new, permanent home in Arizona for the Coyotes for years, but the Coyotes have played home games at the Mountain America Community Iceplex at Arizona State for the past two seasons.

Per ESPN, part of the deal between the Coyotes and the Smith group would allow the team name to stay with Meruelo in hopes the NHL would grant an expansion franchise in Phoenix.

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