Report: Arizona Coyotes 2024-25 NHL schedule has Salt Lake City relocation version

Could the Arizona Coyotes relocate to Salt Lake City?

Speculation heated up earlier this week about the NHL franchise potentially moving to Utah, and a new report will likely ignite the rumors of Arizona's NHL team relocating to Salt Lake City. reported Wednesday that the NHL is drafting two versions of the Coyotes' schedule for next season, one with the team playing at ASU's Mullett Arena, and the other with the team playing in Salt Lake City at Delta Center, the home of the Utah Jazz, according to "multiple sources."

Frank Seravalli wrote: "As the NHL has been working on dual paths, multiple sources indicate Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo is intimately involved in both. The first, of course, involves the Coyotes remaining in the Phoenix area by building a new arena via Arizona State Land Trust auction, which is scheduled for June 27. But there is a real possibility that the Coyotes franchise is not based in Arizona come June 27. The second path involves Meruelo selling control of the franchise in a multi-layered process that would include Smith Entertainment Group paying north of $1.2 billion, part of which is a relocation fee that would be distributed to league owners. Smith owns the NBA’s Utah Jazz and the yet-to-be renamed NHL team would temporarily play in the basketball-oriented Delta Center until a multipurpose arena could be built to adequately house both teams."

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The story said an announcement on the sale and relocation of the Coyotes could come as soon as April 18.

Interestingly, earlier this week, Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith posted a survey on social media, asking for name suggestions for an NHL team in the state, "If an NHL team were to come to Utah."

Scottsdale mayor David Ortega recently came out against the Coyotes' plan for a new arena near his city in northeast Phoenix, indicating that the team wouldn't be able to use water from his city for the proposed arena and land development, should the team win a public auction for the land, creating another wrinkle in the ongoing arena saga for the NHL franchise.

"As it stands today, the fantasy hockey project must move west, away from Scottsdale," Ortega wrote in a statement.

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The city of Phoenix attached a letter of recommendations about zoning, traffic, water and sewer infrastructure that would be required for a developer to add to meet the demands of a new entertainment district if it were to win the land auction. Phoenix projected the costs to be upward of $80 million on top of the cost of the land itself.

Interestingly, Ortega later walked back his earlier criticism of the arena project, saying he's OK with the Arizona Coyotes' plan to build an arena in northeast Phoenix near his city as long it's designed to prevent traffic issues in Scottsdale, calling the proposed project a "win-win" for those involved.

The Coyotes hope to buy the property for the northeast Phoenix arena site from the Arizona State Land Department at an auction in June. The starting bid will be nearly $70 million.

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Sam Kmack contributed to this story.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona Coyotes' 2024-25 NHL schedule has Utah relocation version