NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman with Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley
Photo credit: Sportsnet

NHL Owners in line for big payday with relocation of the Coyotes

Published April 10, 2024 at 6:22 PM

The big winners from what seems to be the imminent relocation of the Arizona Coyotes to Salt Lake City, Utah will be NHL owners, who will split a chunk of profits.

With time seemingly running out on the Arizona Coyotes and the team's bid to remain on the state, several official reports today stated the NHL was preparing for what will most likely be the relocation of the Arizona Coyotes to Utah, with an arena in the Salt Lake City area.

"Can confirm the NHL sent a sent a status report memo to the Board of Governors today in response to the media speculation that is occurring around the Coyotes and a potential move to Salt Lake City.

A couple of sources who read the memo said there's still nothing done, still moving parts to the whole situation. But obviously everyone is on notice at least to the possibility of re-location for the Coyotes."

Alex Meruelo bought the Coyotes back in 2019 for the price tag of $1 billion dollars. The potential sale plan, as outlined by as outlined by Greg Wyshinski of ESPN, would see the NHL buy the team from Meruelo for exactly what he paid for them. The league would then flip the team to Ryan and Ashley Smith, who own the NBA's Utah Jazz, for a profit that would be split amongst the owners of the NHL's other 31 teams.

"The league source said that after purchasing the team, the NHL would then sell the Coyotes to Smith at a price that could be as high as $1.3 billion -- much higher than the $650 million expansion fee that the Seattle Kraken's owners paid in 2021 to join the league. The source said the NHL's other 31 owners would split $300 million as part of the sale.

Wyshinski and other have stressed that, as it stands right now, the NHL's Board of Governors would far rather see the team stay in Arizona. However, contingency plans are being made. As part of the agreement, Meruelo may get another shot at an NHL team in the future. It's noted that Meruelo will likely be given first dibs on another team in Arizona, should the league decide to return at some point.
April 10   |   181 answers
NHL Owners in line for big payday with relocation of the Coyotes

What are your thoughts on the NHL and owners making money from the sale of the Coyotes?

That's how it's done7038.7 %
Whole thing seems sketchy9854.1 %
I'm not sure137.2 %
Latest 10 stories