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Coyotes interested in building privately funded arena in Mesa

Christian Petersen / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Coyotes have set their sights on building a new arena in the city of Mesa, Arizona, the team announced Wednesday.

"We can confirm that Coyotes owner, chairman, and governor Alex Meruelo has executed a letter of intent to purchase a parcel of land located in Mesa, Arizona, to be the potential site for a sports arena and entertainment district for the club," the team said in a statement.

Mesa is the state's third-largest city with a population of roughly 520,000.

The Coyotes' last bid to construct a new arena in Arizona failed when residents of Tempe voted against building a new $2.1-billion entertainment district back in May.

The franchise, which is currently playing out of the 4,600-seat Mullett Arena at Arizona State University in Tempe, has vowed to remain in Arizona despite plenty of relocation speculation. The team's agreement to play at Mullett Arena expires after the 2024-25 campaign.

"The Coyotes remain committed to building the first privately funded sports facility in Arizona history and ensuring the Valley as the club's permanent home. In addition to this property in Mesa, the club will continue to explore other potential sites in the East Valley," the team's statement said.

Mullett Arena is already the Coyotes' third arena since the franchise relocated from Winnipeg in 1996. The team played at America West Arena in downtown Phoenix before moving to Glendale's Gila River Arena in 2003.

Forbes ranked Arizona as the NHL's least valuable franchise in December.

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