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Alex Meruelo Officially Terminates Coyotes’ Remaining Assets

7/10: Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports reports that Meruelo has signed all the necessary paperwork to transfer his assets to the Arizona Coyotes. As of today, the National Hockey League owns all of the Coyotes’ franchise’s branding and intellectual property and can sell them to a potential buyer.

25/6: Alex MerueloThe owner of the inactive Coyotes franchise informed staff yesterday that he is leaving the club, PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan reports. The news comes less than a week after the Arizona State Lands Department canceled an auction for a piece of land that Meruelo planned to use for a new arena for the franchise, which officially went out of business this month after its hockey operations were sold to Salt Lake City-based Smith Entertainment Group.

Meruelo told Coyotes personnel yesterday that the team “no plans for more arena optionsFollowing the canceled auction, according to Morgan, the City of Phoenix confirmed that Meruelo’s group did not obtain the necessary zoning permits to purchase the land in time for the auction.

News, NHL commissioner brings swift end to initial plan Gary Bettman That was revealed in April when the Coyotes announced the start of the transfer of hockey operations to SEG, which would then form a new franchise — the Utah Hockey Club. Meruelo received a reported $1 billion for Arizona’s players, reserve list, draft picks and front office staff, and would pay that money back to the league as an expansion fee if it could build a new arena within five years. That plan was conditional on Meruelo having at least a half-built arena by the end of 2027, which is now impossible without a last-ditch effort for that particular piece of land in North Phoenix.

Meruelo retained the Coyotes’ trademark rights and ownership of the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners as part of the sale. It’s unclear whether he will transfer the Yotes name and logo to a new owner who could try again to establish an expansion franchise in the Phoenix area. As for the Roadrunners, who will remain the minor league affiliate of the Utah Hockey Club next season, they will play all of their home games in Tucson. Under a plan announced last month, the Roadrunners were to play six regular-season home games at the 4,600-seat Mullett Arena on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus, where the Coyotes have played the past two seasons. However, with the auction canceled, that is no longer the case.

Morgan in particular,At least two groups are interested in bringing an expansion team back to Arizona.” But without a dedicated arena, the timeline for a return stateside is likely to extend beyond the five-year window of exclusivity initially granted to Meruelo.

Meruelo plans to unwind the remaining assets that make up the Coyotes, Sportico’s Barry M. Bloom reports. That process would involve returning the Coyotes name and logo to the NHL, which would theoretically allow them to sell the branding rights to the next ownership group that applies for expansion in the Phoenix area. The AHL retains ownership of Tucson but plans to move them to Reno, Nevada, after a new 10,600-capacity venue is completed there, likely before the 2026-27 season.