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The Arizona Coyotes moving to Utah, according to numerous reports

Sources told ESPN and PHNX that the Coyotes informed the players and staff of the move and may formerly announce it next week


The Arizona Coyotes are officially relocating to Utah. Mullett Arena located on the Tempe Campus Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022.

The Arizona Coyotes will relocate to Salt Lake City following the 2023-24 season, according to numerous reports.

Reports from ESPN say the team is expected to officially announce its relocation as early as April 17, the same day as the Coyotes' last home game at Mullett Arena against the Oilers. The development comes after the NHL facilitated a franchise sale to Ryan and Ashley Smith, owners of the Utah Jazz and the Smith Entertainment Group, according to ESPN. 

Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong flew to Alberta to hold a pregame meeting before their game against the Edmonton Oilers today. Armstrong reportedly confirmed to the players that the franchise will move to Utah, according to ESPN.

The Coyotes will reportedly start playing games in Salt Lake City next season. For now, the team plans to share Delta Center with the Jazz. The Coyotes can permanently stay at Delta Center if the Smiths make hockey-specific upgrades required by the NHL.

The Coyotes have played in Mullett Arena on campus since 2022 and still can through the next two seasons. The arena seats 5,000 fans, lowest in the league by a wide margin.

"The revenue that we're getting from them is good, and if it goes away, it goes away, but it wasn't built into our model." ASU president Michael Crow said in a March meeting with The State Press.

The announcement comes soon after the team announced its commitment to staying in Arizona. On April 4, the team announced plans to win a state auction for a tract of land in Phoenix north of Arizona Loop 101 and west of N Scottsdale Road.

“Arizona is our home and an incredible market where the Coyotes belong," Meruelo said in a press release on April 4. "This district would provide a beautiful home for the Arizona Coyotes for decades to come. Our loyal fans deserve this vibrant gathering place that would serve as a landmark to create lifelong memories.”

The land auction is June 27, which Meruelo said he and his family are committed to winning and privately funding the new arena and entertainment district. Earlier this week, the team's social media posted a video saying that the 'Yotes remain steadfast in their goal to stay in Arizona. 

A representative from the Coyotes will still be at the state land auction as of Wednesday.

The Coyotes declined to comment when the State Press reached out.

The news was first reported earlier this week by the Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli. The report said the league created two plans for the 2024-25 season for the Coyotes. One plan had the team remaining in Arizona, while the other planned for the team to play in Utah. On April 8, Smith polled X for potential names for a potential Utah NHL franchise.

While Smith has been committed to bringing an NHL team to Salt Lake City, he said in an interview with the Athletic that he doesn't want to come across as trying to poach a team from Arizona.

"I don’t want to get involved with how they deliver a team," Smith told the Athletic. "We’re showing that we’re ready, and that’s what we’re putting forward. We talk to them frequently. They know our interest. They see what’s going on. They see the value, and they’re intrigued.”

READ MORE: Arizona Coyotes announce development plans in North Phoenix, auction pending

The Coyotes have been without an NHL-sized arena since leaving Glendale's Desert Diamond Arena, formerly Gila River Arena. The city of Glendale backed out of a multimillion-dollar lease agreement in 2015 and then terminated the team's lease at the end of the 2021-22 season.

In 2023, Tempe residents voted down a new billion-dollar arena and entertainment district for the Coyotes by a wide margin. The rejected plan would have had the Coyotes relocating to a 46-acre plot of land on the northeast corner of Rio Salado Parkway and Priest Drive.

Edited by Walker Smith and Shane Brennan

Editor's note: This is a developing story and may be updated.

Reach the reporter at and and follow @walkerrTR  and @jackcbarron on Twitter.

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Walker SmithSports Editor

Walker Smith is a managing editor in the digital department of the State Press. He has previously worked as a reporter and editor on the sports desk and works for Blaze Radio and interned at Big Slate Media in broadcast productions.

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