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Coyotes' owner Meruelo eyes Mesa, Arizona as potential future home for franchise

Mullett Arena Mullett Arena - The Canadian Press

Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo has executed a letter of intent to purchase a parcel of land in Mesa, Arizona to be the potential spot for a sports arena and entertainment district for the franchise.

Throughout their history since landing in the desert in 1996, the Coyotes have played in a number of arenas in the Phoenix area. They first played at America West Arena before moving to Glendale Arena (now Gila River Arena) in 2003. In August 2021, the city of Glendale chose not to renew its operating agreement with the team following the 2021-22 season. In February 2022, they reached a multi-year agreement with Arizona State University to play at the school's Mullett Arena. 

In May, voters in Tempe rejected the Coyotes' entertainment district and arena proposal. 

The Coyotes released the following statement Wednesday morning. 

“We can confirm that Coyotes Owner, Chairman & Governor Alex Meruelo has executed a Letter of Intent to purchase a parcel of land located in Mesa, Arizona to be the potential site for a sports arena and entertainment district for the Club. The Coyotes remain committed to building the first privately funded sports facility in Arizona history and ensuring the Valley as the Club’s permanent home. In addition to this property in Mesa, the Club will continue to explore other potential sites in the East Valley. 

“We appreciate the tremendous support that we have received from many communities, elected officials, and community leaders who have expressed their desire to see the Coyotes remain in the Valley permanently. We would also like to thank NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly for their steadfast support of the Club’s efforts to find a permanent arena solution, and for their recognition that Arizona is a tremendous hockey market. 

“Our incredibly loyal and passionate fan base is extremely excited about our team and the incredible additions we’ve made this summer including Matt Dumba, Jason Zucker, Alex Kerfoot, Nick Bjugstad, Troy Stecher, Sean Durzi and the top prospect in the world, Logan Cooley. In order to ensure that our fans and fans in waiting can experience “Mullet Magic” and the most exciting environment in the NHL, the Coyotes are very pleased to make available a very limited number of single-game tickets starting this Friday, August 11.

“We will have no further comment at this time.”

The Coyotes finished 27th in the NHL standings in 2022-23 and are set to play at Mullett Arena again for the upcoming season.