Coyotes players reportedly told team is moving from Arizona to Utah


The Arizona Coyotes have told their players they are moving north.

Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong met with the team before their game against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday to confirm rumors that the NHL has facilitated a sale of the team to Ryan and Ashley Smith, owners of the Utah Jazz, according to ESPN. Players had reportedly been demanding answers, leading Armstrong to fly up to Edmonton to break the news.

Terms of the sale of the team from current owner Alex Meruelo have not been reported.

The Coyotes will reportedly begin playing at the Jazz’s Delta Center in Salt Lake City, which is owned by the Smiths. However, the NHL has reportedly made it clear that the arena will require some hockey-specific upgrades if it’s going to be the team’s permanent home.

Coyotes players and staff have reportedly been invited to visit Salt Lake City after their regular season finale next week.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 29: A detailed view of the Arizona Coyotes logo on the jersey worn by Johan Larsson #22 of the Arizona Coyotes during the third period of the game against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on October 29, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 29: A detailed view of the Arizona Coyotes logo on the jersey worn by Johan Larsson #22 of the Arizona Coyotes during the third period of the game against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on October 29, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes are reportedly headed to Utah. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

The sale and move of the team is the culmination of years of struggles for the team to find a new arena, be it in Phoenix or elsewhere. The Coyotes found themselves looking for a new home after the city of Glendale terminated the team’s lease for Gila River Arena in 2021, leading to a temporary home at Mullett Arena, Arizona State’s 5,000-seat rink in Tempe.

The Coyotes spent the next few years looking for possible landing spots, including in Tempe. There were previous plans for Meruelo to bid on a 95-acre parcel of land in Phoenix, but the NHL apparently decided it wanted a quicker resolution.

They will reportedly get that in Utah, where Gov. Spencer Cox has already approved a bill passed in the state senate to fund a renovated entertainment district downtown for a potential NHL team.



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