Arizona Coyotes relinquish branding, naming rights back to NHL

Jun 25, 2024, 7:49 PM

Detail of the Arizona Coyotes logo during the NHL game against the Vegas Golden Knights at Gila Riv...

Detail of the Arizona Coyotes logo during the NHL game against the Vegas Golden Knights at Gila River Arena on January 22, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Golden Knights 5-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Part of former Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo stepping away from the franchise incudes him relinquishing the brand rights of the franchise to the National Hockey League, per Front Office Sports.

These were some of the items Meruelo retained when the Coyotes were sold to a new ownership in April that has since moved the Coyotes to Salt Lake City.

Meruelo is expected to return the team’s marks, logo, name and rights to the Phoenix area to the NHL.

PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan first reported on Monday evening that Meruelo was ending his chase at potentially bringing the Coyotes back to the Valley in a new franchise. He reached an agreement with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman that if the Coyotes built a new arena within five years, an expansion franchise would follow.

But this news comes after the land auction that the Coyotes expected to win for that arena was canceled last week. The Arizona State Land Department asked for the Coyotes to secure a special use permit before the land would be auctioned.

On Friday, the Coyotes released a statement following the news of the cancellation for the land auction they expected to win for the new arena. The Coyotes cited they will be “exploring” all of their legal options following the “unprecedented action by the state of Arizona that seriously jeopardizes the future of NHL hockey returning to the desert.”

The Coyotes’ statement also referred to the decision as “shortsighted.”

The Arizona State Land Department’s statement noted it “recently confirmed that the proposed arena use will require a Special Use Permit, and as a result we are requesting that the applicant file for and receive a Special Use Permit prior to the auction.”

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