Arizona Coyotes send open letter to fans, reinforce commitment to Valley
Oct 10, 2023, 10:54 AM | Updated: 11:10 am
The Arizona Coyotes reinforced their commitment to stay in the Valley in an email letter to fans Tuesday, despite recent arena development setbacks.
Team owner Alex Meruelo wrote that while the organization and diehard fans are disappointed the Tempe arena proposal was rejected by voters in May, staying in the Valley and having a Stanley Cup contending team on the ice of a new arena remains the goal.
“I can’t ask our players to give it their all on the ice if I don’t do the same as the owner. Our organization can’t ask them to pick themselves up after a loss if we don’t all do the same ourselves,” Meruelo said.
“We are using all of our resources and reach to put together a great team on the ice, and to secure a new permanent home that will be the envy of Arizona and all of the NHL.”
The $2.1 billion Tempe project would have created a 16,000-seat arena, practice rink, 300,000 square feet of upscale retail, 1,600 apartments, two hotels and a theater at Priest Drive and Rio Salado Parkway.
In August, The Phoenix Business Journal and Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro reported Meruelo and the Coyotes were attempting to buy land for an arena near Alma School Road and Loop 202 in Mesa.
Meruelo did not specifically address the potential Mesa site in the email letter but said, “we have left no potential option unturned to give our fans the permanent home they deserve.”
The Coyotes have been mired in a rebuild for the past several years and despite missing the playoffs by 25 points last season and finishing with a 28-40-14 record, Meruelo noted progress has been made.
On the ice, the team is led by 24-year-old Clayton Keller, who notched 86 points on 37 goals, but the team added a plethora of talent this offseason.
In free agency, the team signed Matt Dumba, Jason Zucker, Alexander Kerfoot, Nick Bjugstad, Troy Stecher and re-signed Jack McBain, Matias Maccelli, Connor Ingram. Veteran Sean Durzi arrived via trade.
Another new potential young star is 19-year-old Logan Cooley, who scored 7 goals and had 7 assists in seven games in leading the U.S. junior national team to a bronze medal at the 2023 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in Canada.