STH News - Coyotes Move to Utah

The Arizona Coyotes Are Heading To Utah

There are fewer things more heart-breaking in sports than hearing that your hometown is leaving to play in another location. Unfortunately, this is the reality for Arizona Coyotes fans. 

This week, the NHL Board of Governors officially approved the sale of the Arizona Coyotes to Utah Jazz owners Ryan and Ashley Smith. This will set the team’s move to Salt Lake City in motion for next season. 

Coyotes Utah Press Conf
However, this deal may not be a total loss for Arizonans. The deal also allows for an expansion team in Arizona, provided that a new stadium is built in the state within the next five years. 

Simply put, things fizzled out for the franchise in Arizona despite their best efforts to make it work. Things were set in motion when the city of Glendale decided against extending its lease with the organization. After that, the franchise decided to try and pursue a new location in Tempe, Arizona. There were plans for a new arena and a new team headquarters and training facility. This proposal was poised to be part of the 1st phase of a 3-phase process of a total revitalization of a location near the Salt River. However, those plans were shelved.

Alex Meruelo will still keep control of the franchise-affiliated Tuscon Road Runners. He will keep the Coyotes’ team name, trademark, and logo. This means that Ryan Smith will have to search for a new name for the franchise once they move to Salt Lake City.   

The new Salt Lake City franchise's new home is set. The franchise will share the Delta Center with the Utah Jazz, but plans are to build a new arena solely for the new franchise. 

The franchise’s origins could be traced back to when they were known as the Winnipeg Jets in 1972. For the first seven years of its existence, the franchise played in the World Hockey Association before existing as an NHL franchise. During their time in the WHA, the franchise won three championships and made five league finals. The franchise’s tenure as the Winnipeg Jets in the NHL lasted from 1979 to 1996. The franchise relocated to Phoenix and became known as the Phoenix Coyotes from 1996 to 2014. They have been known as the Arizona Coyotes for the past ten years. 

The Arizona Coyotes ended their tenure in Arizona with a 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers in front of an emotional home crowd. At one point, negative chants towards Salt Lake City could be heard.


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