Coyotes reaffirm commitment to Arizona in response to report of being for sale

José M. Romero
Arizona Republic
The Arizona Coyotes hope to see water return to the portion of the dry Salt River where the project would sit and say the team's proposal could be a catalyst for that to happen in the future.

The Arizona Coyotes on Thursday morning issued a response to posts on Twitter from Forbes media personalities reporting that the team is for sale again. 

"This is false. Totally false. We're not selling. We're not moving. The Coyotes are 100 percent committed to playing in Arizona," the Coyotes statement said. 

Forbes, citing an unnamed banking industry source, tweeted that the Coyotes were for sale with the idea of the buyer moving the team to a new arena in Houston. The team's ownership has changed hands a few times since it left Winnipeg and began playing in the Phoenix area in 1996, and numerous rumors, reports and actions suggesting a move out of the area have been part of the organization's history ever since. 

The current ownership, led by majority owner, chairman and governor Alex Meruelo, has overseen a change in branding and vision off the ice and a new direction with hockey operations since taking over a little more than two years ago. 

In September the Coyotes submitted a bid for land in Tempe, with the intent to develop the acreage into a new arena and entertainment district. President and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez made a presentation in New York this week at a sports business conference, in which he spoke about the team's bid in Tempe, reiterating the Coyotes' intention to push forward with construction of the arena and district and to remain in the area. 

"That's just not who we are, and not just what we're saying but what we're doing," Gutierrez said. "We're putting action into place about what our intents are and what our commitments are. It's simply just not true when you hear these things and it's very disappointing, because it really overshadows the things that we are doing to change the trajectory and the narrative of the organization."

Get in touch with Jose Romero at Jose.Romero@gannett.com. Find him on Twitter at @RomeroJoseM.