UTAH PUCK REPORT

Vote Upcoming For Utah’s AHL Affiliate Tucson Roadrunners

May 26, 2024, 1:13 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – The turbulent tenure that is Alex Meruelo’s trademark on hockey continues, but this time it affects players from the Utah NHL team and its prospects.

Vote upcoming for Utah’s AHL affiliate

On Thursday, May 30th, in his latest attempt to meet contractual obligations while seemingly not worrying about providing consistency for his players, the Meruelo group has an AHL board of governors meeting over their latest proposal, which is to split the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners games between the two arenas that Meruelo still has contractual obligations with.

The proposed plan is for the Roadrunners to split games between Tucson Arena, their home for the past several seasons, and Mullet Arena in Tempe, the home of Arizona State University’s team and where the Arizona Coyotes played the past couple of seasons.

“We want them to stay.” Vice Chairman of Rio Nuevo Edmond Marques said. “We want them to be here. We’d like them to play the majority or all their games here in Tucson. They’ve been amazing for our economy, great for our Tucson Convention Center (TCC). We’ve spent millions of dollars updating our TCC for the Roadrunners and an AHL product. They’re our team. We love them. We want them to be here.”

The current contract allows the Roadrunners to play up to five games out of the market. Last season, the Roadrunners averaged 4,123 fans per game, an increase of 14 percent from the previous season.

The Tucson Roadrunners are set to become the AHL (AAA) affiliate of the Utah NHL team for the 2024-2025 season, with the Atlanta Gladiators continuing as the ECHL (AA) affiliate.

This is just the beginning of an exciting journey, as we can expect to see Utah establish its own AHL team for the 2025-2026 season.

RELATED: 2024 Offseason Preview For Utah’s NHL Team

The ideal scenario is to see the Utah Grizzlies move up to the AHL and play out of the Maverik Center. A vote from the AHL is expected on Thursday.

Want to get to know the players from your new NHL team? Check out the Utah Puck Report and our exclusive one-on-one interviews.

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Vote Upcoming For Utah’s AHL Affiliate Tucson Roadrunners