The Wolves name and logo will remain in Phoenix during the team's relocation

The Arizona Coyotes in their current iteration are relocating to Salt Lake City. But Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo will continue to push to build a $3 billion entertainment project in north Phoenix with the potential to revive the franchise, an NHL source said. Sportico Late Friday night.

“We are focused on a myriad of unresolved issues and therefore cannot make any formal public comments at this time,” Meruelo said in a statement on Saturday. However, you have my commitment that I will speak out about all of these issues and address all of your concerns publicly as quickly as possible.

When the deal is completed in Salt Lake City, the Coyotes' hockey operations division and players will be sold, renamed and moved in time for the 2024-25 season at a cost of $1.2 billion, the source said.

In a complex deal, Meruelo sells the franchise to Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith, but Meruelo will retain the Coyotes name, logos and trademarks, as well as ownership of the AHL's Tucson Roadrunners. He also received a five-year window from the NHL to complete the proposed arena project and apply for another NHL franchise, the source said.

Meruelo is set to receive $1 billion of the sale price, with the remaining $200 million paid to the NHL, which is brokering the deal. If the arena is built, Meruelo will pay the league $1 billion for the rights to the new Coyotes team.

Meanwhile, the current team will play in Salt Lake City's upgraded Delta Center, general manager Bill Armstrong told Coyotes players before a game in Edmonton on Friday night, ESPN reported and a source confirmed.

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Wednesday night's game at Mullett Arena on the ASU campus against the same Oilers team will be the last for this special edition of the club in the Valley.

Meruelo bought the team in July 2019 for $425 million, and was recently evaluated by… Sportico At $675 million, the lowest ever among the NHL's 32 teams.

Meruelo will still hold an auction on June 27 so the club can purchase a 95-acre parcel of untreated Arizona land on the border of North Phoenix and North Scottsdale at a starting appraisal price of $68.5 million, the source said.

If it wins that auction, the project cost would include more than $100 million for infrastructure and $1 billion for the arena, training complex and theater in the first phase.

The team would have been in danger of moving anyway if the Coyotes lost the auction, which was approved last month by the Arizona Land Management Board of Appeals.

“If we are not the winning bidder, we will likely consider moving the franchise,” Javier Gutierrez, the club’s president, said recently in a phone interview. “This will be our only option.”

The team had to play at least three more seasons at the 4,600-seat university rink. This was a major issue for NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and his deputy Bill Daly, who expressed these concerns with Meruelo.

All parties agree that such an arrangement would be unfair to the players, who were unhappy with the poor state of conditions at the Mullet Stadium. There they used temporary locker rooms outside the main building that cost the Coyotes $30 million to build and practiced off campus at a nearby facility in Scottsdale called the Ice Den.

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Gutierrez said that the team lost a “significant” amount of money while playing in the last two seasons in Albury, refusing to specify a fixed number for it, although it is… Sportico These losses were said to be in the mid to high eight-figure range.

All parties reached an agreement that instead of playing at Mullett, Meruelo's portion of the franchise would become inactive for up to five years until — when and if — he completes the arena project while the players go to Salt Lake City.

In the meantime, negotiations will be underway to move the Roadrunners from Tucson to replace the Coyotes in Mullett, the source said.

This story has been updated in the second paragraph with a statement Saturday afternoon from Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo.

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