Skip to content

Report: Coyotes could move to Utah by next season

Scott Taetsch / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Arizona Coyotes could move to Salt Lake City as soon as next season, ESPN's Emily Kaplan and Greg Wyshynski report.

The NHL has prepared an option that would see the team sold to Smith Entertainment Group, owners of the NBA's Utah Jazz, and relocated to Salt Lake City, sources told Kaplan and Wyshynski.

The three parties have made significant progress on a framework agreement, and the NHL sent a memo to the board of governors updating the situation Wednesday, reports Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wouldn't divulge details when asked about the reports.

"The league is continuing to work on a solution to what has been a challenging and difficult situation," Daly told TSN's Pierre LeBrun. "But we are not in a position to comment beyond that."

The league still believes a team should be in Arizona but is skeptical about the Coyotes' newest arena plans, per ESPN.

The Coyotes announced last week their commitment to winning a land auction in the Phoenix area and building a privately funded arena and entertainment district on the 110-acre plot. However, Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega slammed the plans Monday, calling the concept "not feasible or welcome."

Winning the June 27 auction could allow the Coyotes to remain in Arizona long term. But the franchise could be based in another state by that date, as an announcement of the sale and relocation could come as early as April 18, the day after the Coyotes' final regular-season game, Seravalli adds.

Two versions of the NHL's 2024-25 league schedule are being drafted with the potential of the Arizona Coyotes relocating to Salt Lake City, Seravalli reported earlier Wednesday.

One schedule sees the Coyotes remain in Arizona for another season, and the other features the franchise playing at Utah's Delta Center.

Ryan Smith, owner of the Jazz, added to the speculation the franchise could be on the move last week when he asked fans on X for their opinion on a name for a Utah-based NHL team.

Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo selling control of the franchise would cost an interested buyer north of $1.2 billion, which includes the NHL's relocation fees, per Seravalli.

The Coyotes posted a video on X reiterating their commitment to remaining in Phoenix.

The Atlanta Thrashers are the last NHL franchise to relocate, moving to Winnipeg in 2011. That sale and relocation was announced on May 31, and the team played in Winnipeg the following campaign.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox