Alex Meruelo reportedly walking away as owner of the Arizona Coyotes

Cooper Godin
June 25, 2024  (8:07)

Former Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo.
Photo credit: AZCentral

While all major sports networks are covering the Stanley Cup celebrations, Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo made a major announcement that leaves the future of hockey in the desert in limbo.

According to Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports, Alex Meruelo has decided to walk away from the Arizona Coyotes' ownership after the land auction in North Phoenix was cancelled earlier this week.
"Alex Meruelo is calling it quits. Multiple sources told PHNX Sports that ownership addressed Coyotes staff on Monday, telling them that they have no plans to pursue further arena options." Morgan said.

Meruelo was set to participate in a land auction this week in Phoenix, but after some complications arose in their plan, including that the land wasn't zoned for an NHL arena, it was cancelled by the Arizona State Land Department.
The Coyotes' players and hockey operations staff left the state in April via a non-traditional relocation to Salt Lake City, Utah. This move left the Coyotes' brand and Meruelo's ownership of the team inactive in the NHL, but he was given a five-year window to bring a team back to the state.
With today's news, the future of the National Hockey League in Arizona is murky and it also is unclear what will happen to the Coyotes' branding and logos, jerseys, etc., although it's safe to say that the NHL will probably purchase those from Meruelo before a new ownership group comes in. We'll have to wait and see what the NHL says, but it's also unclear if the ownership and five-year reactivation period can be transferred to a new group.
Later in his article, Craig Morgan said that he's heard there are at least two groups interested in bringing an NHL franchise back to Arizona as an expansion team in the coming years.
"PHNX is aware of at least two groups with interest in bringing an expansion team back to Arizona, but it will be hard to gauge their level of interest and ability until they can formally enter the fray and the process begins." Morgan said.

The NHL will likely comment on this news in the coming days, but for now, this is a major blow to the chances of a franchise returning to the desert.
Source: Go PHNX
Sources: Alex Meruelo is walking away from Coyotes ownership
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Alex Meruelo reportedly walking away as owner of the Arizona Coyotes

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