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Report: Coyotes owner abandoning franchise reactivation

Christian Petersen / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo is abandoning the prospect of reactivating the franchise, PHNX Sports' Craig Morgan reports.

The site of Meruelo's planned arena for a future Coyotes franchise became unavailable last week when the Arizona State Land Department canceled the auction for the tract of land.

Meruelo told Coyotes staff on Monday that he has no plans to pursue further arena options, Morgan reports.

The Coyotes' assets were sold for $1.2 billion in April in a move that effectively relocated the team to Utah. As part of the transaction, the Arizona franchise was deemed "inactive" by the NHL.

Meruelo has until Dec. 31, 2027, to build 50% of a new arena and inform the league of his intention to reactivate the franchise and trigger an expansion draft.

With the cancelation of the land auction, Meruelo doesn't see a viable option to meet the parameters of the reactivation clause, Morgan reports.

The Coyotes played the past two seasons at Arizona State University's Mullett Arena, which has a capacity of 4,600.

Meruelo still owns the AHL's Tucson Roadrunners. The team had initially been scheduled to play six games at Mullett Arena next season, but the Roadrunners announced Monday that those games have been moved back to Tucson.

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