Report: Arizona Coyotes Are Moving to Utah

The team's players were reportedly told of the planned move

Arizona Coyotes
Dylan Guenther of the Arizona Coyotes lines up for a face-off during the game against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place.
Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Turns out the Oakland A’s aren’t the only pro sports team on the move this year. As ESPN’s Emily Kaplan reports, Arizona Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong told members of the team that the Coyotes will be moving to Utah next season. That’s not the only big change on the horizon: Kaplan reports that the move will come as a result of of a sale of the team to the owners of the NBA’s Utah Jazz.

The Coyotes have had a somewhat fractious relationship with Arizona for the last few years. They’ve been playing in Tempe’s Mullett Arena since last season, a space with the NHL’s smallest capacity. By comparison, the Mullett Arena holds 5,000 — significantly less than, say, the Tucson Convention Center, Hartford’s XL Center or Syracuse’s Upstate Medical University Arena, all of which are home to teams in the American Hockey League.

As ESPN reports, negotiations to complete the sale of the team are still underway, with an announcement expected to take place next week. Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny did not address the reported sale after the Coyotes played the Oilers. “The first time the rumor came around, we didn’t manage it well and we shoot ourselves in the foot, went on a 14-game losing streak,” he told ESPN.

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Assuming the same and move go through, this won’t be the first time the franchise relocated. The Coyotes, after all, began their existence as the Winnipeg Jets — not to be confused with the current team using that name, who were formerly the Atlanta Thrashers.

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