Report: ‘Significant Progress’ Made On Agreement To Bring Coyotes To Utah

Apr 10, 2024, 2:40 PM | Updated: Apr 11, 2024, 10:42 am

SALT LAKE CITY – The NHL to SLC movement has been picking up steam and there is reportedly “significant and meaningful progress” in the framework of a deal that would move the Arizona Coyotes to Utah.

NHL Insider Frank Seravalli joined the KSL Sports Zone to address rumors about the Arizona Coyotes relocating to Utah for the upcoming NHL season.

On Wednesday, Seravalli reported that Coyotes players were informed of a verbal agreement between Arizona and Utah regarding relocation.

“I would say that it’s a step further than that,” Seravalli said. “The NHL has sent a memo to the board of governors. It’s been sent to a very, very small circle of owners. They’re trying to keep the circle tight. There was an acknowledgment to Coyotes players that something is happening. I do think that the three sides are either very close or have an actual agreement in place that needs to be papered and signed.”

Rumors surrounding the NHL coming to Utah have been heating up in recent weeks.

Arizona put its name in the hat to buy land for a new hockey arena in Phoenix but Scottsdale mayor David Ortega was quick to oppose the move.

“The prospect of a rookie developer attempting to buy Arizona State Trust Land with absolutely no infrastructure on the Phoenix side of the 101/Scottsdale Road intersection at the doorstep of Scottsdale is not feasible, or welcome,” Ortega said.

On the same day, Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith polled Utah sports fans on a name for a potential NHL franchise.

In terms of when an actual announcement could come regarding relocation, Seravalli said it could be as soon as this month.

The deal is not done. But, Utah hockey fans definitely have something to be excited about.

“This is developing rapidly,” Seravalli said. “It’s not done. They’ve made significant and meaningful progress to sell the Arizona Coyotes franchise to Ryan Smith and Smith Entertainment Group and bring NHL hockey to Salt Lake City in time for puck drop in October. April 18 is a date that has been floated around.”

Report: Coyotes Play In Utah On Version Of 2024-25 NHL Schedule Draft

The NHL is currently drafting a 2024-25 schedule that includes two versions, and one has the Arizona Coyotes franchise playing in Salt Lake City, Utah, reports Seravalli.

Combined with Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro reporting that Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo spoke with potential buyers for the team and Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith going to the public with questions about what to name a hockey franchise that he’s already publicly stumped to own in the near future, it raises questions about whether the Coyotes could be on the move.

More from Seravalli:

As the NHL has been working on dual paths, multiple sources indicate Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo is intimately involved in both. The first, of course, involves the Coyotes remaining in the Phoenix area by building a new arena via Arizona State Land Trust auction, which is scheduled for June 27.

In Arizona, the Coyotes have remained steadfast that Meruelo is targeting a piece of land in northeast Phoenix to build a new arena. However, the team would not be able to own that land until winning a June 27 auction.

A potential move to Utah is the latest news on the Coyotes’ plans after a failed public vote in May squashed the NHL franchise’s plans to build a new arena in Tempe.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Report: ‘Significant Progress’ Made On Agreement To Bring Coyotes To Utah