Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

Yesterday, April 12, the Arizona Republic reported (“Arizona Coyotes Relocating to Salt Lake City, reports say”) that it appears that the Coyotes will be moving to Salt Lake City, Utah. The General Manager, Bill Armstrong, advised players of the impending move on Friday night.

I am sharing my thoughts on the news. The move was inevitable, but I thought Houston would be the team’s new home. I was wrong.

Leaving Glendale was the beginning of the end. Alex Meruelo sent this team down this path with his arrogance and stubbornness. He could have and should have been more reasonable and negotiated a deal in Glendale that was mutually beneficial to the city and to the team.

Guess what? Sometimes it’s better to stay with the person that brought you to the dance.

 For all the naysayers about Glendale as a viable location, there were several factors overlooked. When the Coyotes put a winning team on the ice, the arena was packed. Witness their one and only play-off season. It’s not where you play but the quality of the team that determines attendance. When a team is winning, fans will come from everywhere. With the completion of Route 202, travel time from the East Valley was substantially reduced. The Coyotes were successfully building a fan base in the West Valley. The Westgate area with 15 new apartment complexes and the construction of the VAI Resort and Mattel Adventure Park adds a whole new dynamic that would have helped to grow the fan base.

Personally, I’m glad that the Coyotes left the Glendale arena. Since their departure revenues to the city from events have skyrocketed. With the addition of the Rattlers football team, the revenue picture for Glendale looks even brighter.

When the Coyotes were unable to relocate to Tempe and instead ended up playing in the 5,000 seat Mullett Arena, many sensed that a move was going to happen sooner or later. Muerelo had to be bleeding money. Many of his costs were fixed and the revenue from 5,000 seats could not possibly cover those fixed costs, no matter the price point of the tickets. Add to that dynamic, the head of the players union’s demands to know where the players would be long-term.

As for the bid on state land in north Phoenix, who advertises what they are willing to bid? I suspect there are other types of developers out there that would have outbid the Coyotes. That scheme was certainly not a done deal. When Mayor Ortega of Scottsdale publicly voiced Scottsdale’s objections, sentiment about yet another location not making surfaced quickly. Realistically, had the Coyotes been successful, the hurdles they were about to face guaranteed that it would be years before a hockey arena could be built at that location.

I feel sorry for the fans. They have been steadfastly loyal to this team and have proven it many times. They are sad, angry, and upset. Rightfully so. For the fans and the players to learn of the relocation through social media shows how little respect Muerelo and management has for the fans and their players.

After all the assurances that they committed to stay in the Valley, it appears that the reported $1 billion that Meruelo is asking for the team, outweighed any promises of staying. It’s all about the money, baby.

© Joyce Clark, 2024    


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