ARIZONA COYOTES

Arizona Coyotes finalize majority ownership sale to Alex Meruelo

Jul 29, 2019, 10:47 AM | Updated: Jul 30, 2019, 1:11 pm
General view outside of Gila River Arena before the NHL game between the Arizona Coyotes and the De...
General view outside of Gila River Arena before the NHL game between the Arizona Coyotes and the Detroit Red Wings on October 12, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Alex Meruelo

The Arizona Coyotes have a new sole majority owner after businessman Alex Meruelo closed on his purchase of the NHL franchise on Monday, the team announced.

“This is an incredible moment for me and my entire family,” Meruelo said in a statement.  “The Arizona Coyotes team is poised to do great things on and off the ice. I look forward to helping hockey continue to thrive in the desert, and I am committed to providing our passionate fans, loyal partners and the entire State of Arizona with a team they can be proud of for years to come.”

The change in ownership has been expected for some time.

As far back as last calendar year, it had been rumored and reported that a change of ownership could be on its way for the Arizona Coyotes, who most-recently had a sole owner in Andrew Barroway. The team said at the time that it was simply exploring investment options and nothing was set in stone, but in June, Meruelo’s name and further progress toward a deal both came into the spotlight.

At the NHL Board of Governors meeting on June 19, the league approved the sale of the Coyotes to Meruelo. That didn’t make it official, though, as even before the vote it was known that the deal wouldn’t close until later in the summer.

Now, finally, it is complete.

The sale makes Meruelo, 55, the only Hispanic controlling owner of an NHL team, a press release from the team said.

“Mr. Meruelo is a proven winner and his track record of multi-faceted and dynamic business accomplishments makes us well-positioned for continued growth, progress and long-term success here in Arizona,” team president and CEO Ahron Cohen said in a statement. “Today marks a major step forward for our organization and our great fans and partners.”

Barroway will still keep a minority stake in the team and become an alternate governor along with Cohen and general manager John Chayka.

“It has been an honor and a privilege serving as the Chairman and Governor of the Coyotes,” said Barroway in a statement.  “I am proud of the work we did to make this organization better, and I am pleased to be passing the torch to someone who will guide this franchise to great days ahead.”

According to an LA Times article, Meruelo owns a chain of pizza restaurants in Los Angeles called La Pizza Loca; SLS Las Vegas, a casino on the Las Vegas Strip; the Grand Sierra Resort hotel and casino in Reno, Nev.; and real estate, construction companies, a bank, two TV stations, hip hop radio stations and more.

The Coyotes enter the 2019-20 season with one of the highest salary cap hits in the NHL. That, in recent history, hasn’t been close to being the case.

Penguin Air

Penguin Air

Arizona Coyotes

Logan Cooley, #3 pick by the Arizona Coyotes, poses for a portrait during the 2022 Upper Deck NHL D...
Arizona Sports

Coyotes’ Logan Cooley to play for U.S. at World Junior Championship

Coyotes prospect Logan Cooley -- the 2022 No. 3 pick -- will represent the United States at the upcoming IIHF World Junior Championship.
16 hours ago
Head coach of the Cleveland Monsters John Madden looks on from behind the bench against the Laval R...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Coyotes hire assistant coach John Madden

John Madden joins Andre Tourigny's coaching staff after spending the last two seasons with the San Jose Sharks as an assistant.
13 days ago
Zack Kassian #44 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates a goal against the Ottawa Senators during the fi...
Sam Graveline

Armstrong: F Zack Kassian perfect fit for new style of ‘Coyotes hockey’

Among the many moves the Coyotes made during the NHL Draft, the sneaky acquisition of veteran forward Zack Kassian could be very important.
16 days ago
Conor Geekie is drafted by the Arizona Coyotes during Round One of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at...
Alex Weiner

Coyotes’ draftee Conor Geekie sets goal to make impact in 1st season

Arizona Coyotes first-rounder Conor Geekie says he believes he can make the NHL in Year 1 and have an impact.
20 days ago
Conor Geekie, #11 pick by the Arizona Coyotes, poses for a portrait during the 2022 Upper Deck NHL ...
Jake Anderson

Coyotes ink No. 11 overall pick Conor Geekie to 3-year entry-level deal

The Coyotes put pen to paper with forward Conor Geekie, who Arizona traded up to select No. 11 overall in the 2022 NHL Draft.
21 days ago
Logan Cooley smiles during a news conference after being selected as the third overall pick by the ...
Arizona Sports

Pittsburgh-native, Coyotes pick Logan Cooley says he was a Capitals fan

Pittsburgh native and Coyotes top draft pick Logan Cooley surprised Wolf & Luke by declaring himself a Capitals fan growing up.
23 days ago
Arizona Coyotes finalize majority ownership sale to Alex Meruelo