Coyotes confirm owner Alex Meruelo interested in Mesa land for arena

Aug 9, 2023, 8:02 AM | Updated: 3:15 pm

Xavier Gutierrez, Arizona Coyotes president and CEO...

Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo attends the 2023 NHL Draft at the Bridgestone Arena on June 28, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes confirmed Wednesday that owner Alex Meruelo has a letter of intent out to purchase land in Mesa as a potential arena and entertainment district site.

The Phoenix Business Journal reports that the site is located in northwest Mesa around Alma School Road and Loop 202.

“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,” a Coyotes statement read.

“We appreciate the tremendous support that we have received from many communities, elected officials, and community leaders who have expressed their desire to see the Coyotes remain in the Valley permanently. We would also like to thank NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly for their steadfast support of the club’s efforts to find a permanent arena solution and for their recognition that Arizona is a tremendous hockey market.”

According to Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro, the Coyotes are beginning a process to develop the first privately funded sports and entertainment district in the state. Arizona aims to have an arena site locked down by the first quarter of 2024 so a new arena’s completion is in time for the start of the 2026-27 season.

Gambadoro reported that Meruelo put in a letter of intent to purchase 41 acres of land in Mesa, though the exact location is unknown. Meruelo is still looking into other possible sites in the East Valley, including Mesa, Phoenix and Scottsdale.

“Hearing that the Coyotes have taken a step forward in their process to find a location in Mesa or the East Valley is exciting for all those eager to see professional hockey remain in Arizona,” the city of Mesa told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “Mesa is a desirable location, and we will continue to follow along as they consider options.” 

The Coyotes will remain at the Arizona State University-owned Mullett Arena this coming season, with a contract to potentially stay at the Sun Devils’ hockey arena through 2025-26 as a new arena is built.

“Our incredibly loyal and passionate fan base is extremely excited about our team and the incredible additions we’ve made this summer including Matt Dumba, Jason Zucker, Alex Kerfoot, Nick Bjugstad, Troy Stecher, Sean Durzi and the top prospect in the world, Logan Cooley,” the Coyotes’ statement said.

The team is putting a number of single-game tickets for the coming season on sale Friday.

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