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Purchase of land north of Phoenix: auction cancelled
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
The Coyotes moved from Arizona to Salt Lake City.

But when we heard the news, we knew there was a possibility of hockey returning to the desert at some point.

Why was that? Because there was a plan in place to build a new amphitheatre, which was going to happen with the purchase of land north of Phoenix.

But now that project has taken a nasty step backwards.

I say this because we’ve learned that the Arizona State Land Department (ASLD) has determined that it is in the best interest to cancel the auction scheduled for June 27 for the sale of said land.

The ultimate goal was to build a 17,000-seat arena as well as a training complex, restaurants, a concert hall and more.

It’s a blow to those who really believed in the return of hockey to Arizona in the short term.

Imagine if the club hadn’t left the desert and was still looking for a new amphitheater to leave Mullett Arena.

The NHL would have had a nasty problem on its hands…

And the situation would (again) have been seen as catastrophic for the league.

This is where we see that the league did the right thing by selling the franchise to Ryan Smith and moving it to Salt Lake City.

Here, the organization has the opportunity to make a fresh start and avoid all the silliness we’ve seen in Arizona in recent years.

The question now is whether Alex Meruelo still intends to continue his pursuit to buy land for possible expansion in the next few years.

But given the way the club was run when he was owner, I think the league would be shooting itself in the foot because we know the reputation of the main interested party.

The NHL would be better off finding an investor who is (really) serious about what it’s doing, and that may well be the biggest challenge.

Overtime

– He has to get up.

– Rich Clune hired in Anaheim.

– It’s been making the rounds of NHL rumors.

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