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Coyotes New Owner: "We Are Staying in the Desert"


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From MSN
https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nhl/alex-meruelo-purchase-of-coyotes-finalized-making-him-nhls-first-latino-majority-owner/ar-AAF1PJi

 

From the Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nhl/billionaire-alex-meruelo-takes-ownership-of-coyotes/2019/08/01/e9d2b5c8-b4ac-11e9-acc8-1d847bacca73_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.6d33112bbf91

 

AlexM.jpg.fd88c6feb03a4f7e79a519e7be1308bf.jpg

 

Looks like those saying the Arizona Coyotes will be moving elsewhere are gonna have to wait a bit longer.
New majority owner Alex Meruelo, known for turning around failed businesses, said upon buying the team that he fully intends on keeping the team in Arizona and making it "a viable business".

Great news for Yotes fans (the few I've met really are hardcore, believe it or not) and if this works out, he might be known as the "Jeff Vinik of the Southwest".
Jeff Vinik, of course, is the Lightning owner, who, since taking over the team, has put lots of hard work, hired excellent hockey people, and has turned the Lightning from NHL joke, to perennial contender.

May help Mr. Meruelo's efforts that his Yotes will be moving to the Central division in 2021 where he will be with teams and fanbases from Minnesota, St. Louis, etc...…. not only are the fanbases in the Central seemingly more rabid than those in the Pacific (taking nothing away from the Western Canadian team fanbases), but many retirees come from some of those Central division cities so even as the Yotes look to garner their own solid fanbase, they at least will more easily fill the building as Central division teams make their way to play the Coyotes with more regularity.

 

I'm actually glad to hear this coming from the new owner as I honestly hate to see cities and areas lose pro teams.
Sincerely hope he can put his past successes at turning around floundering businesses to work here and that he is successful.

Hey, people said Florida was not a viable hockey market, and for awhile, that looked like the case...till Jeff Vinik came in (and pretty much had the same type of attitude towards turning things around that Alex Meruelo seems to have) and MADE it a viable hockey market.

Much success to his efforts....and even now, he has a not-so-bad collection of players to work with.

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12 hours ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

May help Mr. Meruelo's efforts that his Yotes will be moving to the Central division in 2021

 

I think the League stated than this will be done when Seattle comes in. Coyotes to the Central and Seattle in the Pacific.

 

That being said, I think the Coyotes' future is settled. Once they move in a new area in downtown Phoenix, things are gonna be on the track and they will remain there unless a major catastrophe happens. Maybe Buttman's message shook a bit the organisation when he was surprisingly vague about the future in Arizona, in opposite as when the was speaking about the Hurricanes', insisting that the franchise will "never, ever, ever move elsewhere".

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4 hours ago, mojo1917 said:

@TropicalFruitGirl26

 

just, you know, on it's face, this seems like a stupid thing for a hockey team owner to say.

 

there's not much ice in the desert...i mean geez.

 

Oh, come on now...with tech the way it is nowadays (an OUTDOOR game in freakin Los Angeles for cryin out loud!  :bigteeth:  ), the NHL could CERTAINLY grow some ice in the desert...…….snakes, lizards, toads, and scorpions be damned... :shifty: 

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4 hours ago, Villette/Lavaux said:

 

I think the League stated than this will be done when Seattle comes in. Coyotes to the Central and Seattle in the Pacific.

 

That being said, I think the Coyotes' future is settled. Once they move in a new area in downtown Phoenix, things are gonna be on the track and they will remain there unless a major catastrophe happens. Maybe Buttman's message shook a bit the organisation when he was surprisingly vague about the future in Arizona, in opposite as when the was speaking about the Hurricanes', insisting that the franchise will "never, ever, ever move elsewhere".

 

Well, I for one do wish the Yotes well in getting a stable thing going......it would be about freakin time.

And, as a Wild fan, I am actually looking forward to having Arizona in the same division and getting to see them come to the X more often.
They really do have the makings of a young, fast, exciting roster in the near future.

And yes, you are right...when Seattle comes in, the Yotes move to the Central....its why I posted 2021...my apologies if I got the year wrong, but I did know it was when the Seattle Totems/Metropolitans/Pilots/Kraken made their way to the NHL.  :) 

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18 hours ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

 

Well, I for one do wish the Yotes well in getting a stable thing going......it would be about freakin time.

And, as a Wild fan, I am actually looking forward to having Arizona in the same division and getting to see them come to the X more often.
They really do have the makings of a young, fast, exciting roster in the near future.

And yes, you are right...when Seattle comes in, the Yotes move to the Central....its why I posted 2021...my apologies if I got the year wrong, but I did know it was when the Seattle Totems/Metropolitans/Pilots/Kraken made their way to the NHL.  :) 

I heard ticket sales rose where Phil Kessel was traded by the Pens to the Coyotes!

By chance is there a new arena on the horizon for Arizona?

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3 hours ago, notfondajane said:

I heard ticket sales rose where Phil Kessel was traded by the Pens to the Coyotes!

By chance is there a new arena on the horizon for Arizona?

 

Yea....Phil Kessel has generated much excitement coming over to the Yotes.
They even have some T-shirts that supposedly are selling like hotcakes over there, some Phil the Thrill shirts.

New owner did say he was in negotiations to try and have a new arena built closer to the city limits, even though by all accounts, their current Gila Arena is a beautiful place....just out of the way for hockey.

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  • 11 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Houston IMO is where they should go.  Especially since they've been placed in the Central Division.  Houston supported the Aeros pretty well while they were there.  And I hope that relocation means a new ownership group.  Merullo shouldn't own any professional sports team let alone an NHL franchise.  

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On 8/1/2019 at 8:40 PM, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

From MSN
https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nhl/alex-meruelo-purchase-of-coyotes-finalized-making-him-nhls-first-latino-majority-owner/ar-AAF1PJi

 

From the Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nhl/billionaire-alex-meruelo-takes-ownership-of-coyotes/2019/08/01/e9d2b5c8-b4ac-11e9-acc8-1d847bacca73_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.6d33112bbf91

 

AlexM.jpg.fd88c6feb03a4f7e79a519e7be1308bf.jpg

 

Looks like those saying the Arizona Coyotes will be moving elsewhere are gonna have to wait a bit longer.
New majority owner Alex Meruelo, known for turning around failed businesses, said upon buying the team that he fully intends on keeping the team in Arizona and making it "a viable business".

Great news for Yotes fans (the few I've met really are hardcore, believe it or not) and if this works out, he might be known as the "Jeff Vinik of the Southwest".
Jeff Vinik, of course, is the Lightning owner, who, since taking over the team, has put lots of hard work, hired excellent hockey people, and has turned the Lightning from NHL joke, to perennial contender.

May help Mr. Meruelo's efforts that his Yotes will be moving to the Central division in 2021 where he will be with teams and fanbases from Minnesota, St. Louis, etc...…. not only are the fanbases in the Central seemingly more rabid than those in the Pacific (taking nothing away from the Western Canadian team fanbases), but many retirees come from some of those Central division cities so even as the Yotes look to garner their own solid fanbase, they at least will more easily fill the building as Central division teams make their way to play the Coyotes with more regularity.

 

I'm actually glad to hear this coming from the new owner as I honestly hate to see cities and areas lose pro teams.
Sincerely hope he can put his past successes at turning around floundering businesses to work here and that he is successful.

Hey, people said Florida was not a viable hockey market, and for awhile, that looked like the case...till Jeff Vinik came in (and pretty much had the same type of attitude towards turning things around that Alex Meruelo seems to have) and MADE it a viable hockey market.

Much success to his efforts....and even now, he has a not-so-bad collection of players to work with.

The Coyotes franchise has been in the desert in many more ways than one for years.

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3 hours ago, ruxpin said:

The Coyotes franchise has been in the desert in many more ways than one for years.

 

True.

Although I don't buy into the narrative of "No one in Arizona cares about hockey".
I just think ownership, management, and yes, even the players, haven't given the fans much reason to WANT to care about the product being put on the ice.

Years ago, people were trying to run the same narrative about hockey in Florida.
Now you have the Lightning an NHL powerhouse, and the Florida Panthers looking to trend upwards as well.
Why?
Franchises are being run better, managed better, and the players on the teams are better.

Fans get excited about the product and everything else just builds on from there.

Arizona has just been, well, lukewarm in their best seasons (although they did have a couple seasons where it looked like they might have turned a corner), and absolutely putrid at their worst..... like now.

If they can get a GM that really knows how to run a franchise, then let him hire real good hockey people to manage the various aspects of the on-ice product, it will attract better players and in turn attract the fans.

You know as well as I, that even long established franchises like your Flyers, the Rangers, the Blackhawks, etc on their worst years experience fan indifference.....yet you KNOW the fans still care.
Lesser established ones suffer more because they haven't had the fan investment time yet to able to withstand the lean years (which, sadly, has become the 'norm' for the Yotes) as well.

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9 minutes ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

 

True.

Although I don't buy into the narrative of "No one in Arizona cares about hockey".
I just think ownership, management, and yes, even the players, haven't given the fans much reason to WANT to care about the product being put on the ice.

Years ago, people were trying to run the same narrative about hockey in Florida.
Now you have the Lightning an NHL powerhouse, and the Florida Panthers looking to trend upwards as well.
Why?
Franchises are being run better, managed better, and the players on the teams are better.

Fans get excited about the product and everything else just builds on from there.

Arizona has just been, well, lukewarm in their best seasons (although they did have a couple seasons where it looked like they might have turned a corner), and absolutely putrid at their worst..... like now.

If they can get a GM that really knows how to run a franchise, then let him hire real good hockey people to manage the various aspects of the on-ice product, it will attract better players and in turn attract the fans.

You know as well as I, that even long established franchises like your Flyers, the Rangers, the Blackhawks, etc on their worst years experience fan indifference.....yet you KNOW the fans still care.
Lesser established ones suffer more because they haven't had the fan investment time yet to able to withstand the lean years (which, sadly, has become the 'norm' for the Yotes) as well.

 

Fair post.

 

This was one of the angles, but where I was really heading with the "in the desert" was the crap ownership and management and the horrible treatment my the city and the government leaders in Arizona.

 

Neither deserves a team.  I don't believe that will change.

 

I'm still in the camp that southern Florida does not deserve a team.  Good team, bad team, meh team no one cares. Next to last in attendance.   It is simply absurd.

 

But really, my biggest target regarding the Coyotes was ownership, management, and local government

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12 minutes ago, ruxpin said:

 

Fair post.

 

This was one of the angles, but where I was really heading with the "in the desert" was the crap ownership and management and the horrible treatment my the city and the government leaders in Arizona.

 

Neither deserves a team.  I don't believe that will change.

 

I'm still in the camp that southern Florida does not deserve a team.  Good team, bad team, meh team no one cares. Next to last in attendance.   It is simply absurd.

 

But really, my biggest target regarding the Coyotes was ownership, management, and local government

 

I know, I know...

Dried up AZ legislation, dried up ownership, dried up front office, and players with a dried up sense of competitiveness.....which leaves the seats dried up! :bigteeth: 

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1 hour ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

 

I know, I know...

Dried up AZ legislation, dried up ownership, dried up front office, and players with a dried up sense of competitiveness.....which leaves the seats dried up! :bigteeth: 

 

Sums it up rather nicely

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As the late comedian Sam Kenison might have observed: "Why do you want to play hockey in the desert? There's no f*#ing ice there. That's why they call it a desert!"

 

Seriously, getting out to AZ for a weekend game would be sweet when it's 20 below up here in northern Minnesota. Vegas also an attractive destination team. Nashville too. Why not Arizona?

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I was once told that in Nevada probably about 8 years before the Vegas Golden Knights arrived.  It doesn't seem so ridiculous now.  Of course, its pretty tough to not like a winning team right out of the gate.  

 

As far as Arizona goes.  I think they have some fans, but not nearly enough to keep that team going.  Nice arena, but people don't go there.  Almost anytime the Wild play there, we have more fans than they do.  

 

I think the franchise would be better served in Houston.  I think they'd support the team and it would keep more of the Central in the Central timezone.  

 

The comments about the Florida Panthers, I agree 100%.  They should be moved to Quebec.  Florida offers free parking, and they give away a lot of tickets and people still don't show up and its not like they have a bad team to watch anymore.  Its actually a pretty good and a fairly fun team to watch the last 4-5 years.  

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I'm posting back a previous message I wrote in an another topic about QC City having a team. I'm living in QC City but in a strict business/revenue point of view, bringing a team here is not an option for the following reasons:

  • Small market: with Québec in the NHL, this will be the smallest market, even smaller than Arizona and Florida.
  • French market: I know I'll piss my frenchie fellas, but this is a major drawback in terms of revenue generation, marketing and stuff. Besides that, attracting UFAs here will be a nightmare.
  • Politics: Quebecor boss Pierre-Karl Péladeau, the guy who's behind the new arena and potential owner of a franchise, is a die-hard pro-sovereignty and a concurrent of Rogers. The last thing the league wants is to go into politics. With Québec in the league, Bettman & co. will be deep into it and I fully understand they don't want to go that route.
  • Fanbase versatility: most of former Nordiques fans already turned into Habs or Bruins ones. If there's a team back in Québec, it would need to be successful immediately. 2 or 3 sucking seasons and everybody will go back buying Habs and Bruins merchandise. People here have no patience. I truly admire Leafs, Oilers and Jets fans because they are loyal even with a long history of sucking. Here, no playoffs for consecutive years will mean nobody in the arena. QC fanbase area won't be going outside the city limits and there's no way it can expand.
  • Economics (in case of expansion): an expansion fee of more than $650M (it was $500M back when they were in contention with Vegas) and a weak CAD that should climb up in a foreseeable future.

Bettman and his folks never had the intention to consider Québec City as a potential expansion market and/or potential NHL location. They said once that it could be an eventual possibility and the politics here took that for granted and build a brand new arena right away. An epic mistake. Everybody's blaming the League while victimizing themselves but it was obvious that Québec would always be the runner-up. The NHL has nothing to win in integrating Québec in the league. BTW, the NHL will have 32 teams, all spots are filled with all divisions in equilibrium.

 

The only way for Québec City to have a team would be through relocation, but unless exceptional circumstances this avenues is dead. Having the NHL back here is pure fan fantasy. I've spoken some years ago with Jean Gagnon, the former right-arm of Patrick Roy (owner/coach of the Québec Remparts) and some other folks that are deeply involved in ice hockey in the Province, no one sees the return of the NHL here and be viable.

 

That being said, I agree with @CreaseAndAssist. Houston is the #1 spot. Central divison team, the largest market without an NHL team, possibility to build a rivalry with Dallas, and Houston has already been cited in the past for a potential landing spot for the Oilers and the Preds.

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5 hours ago, Math said:

Small market: with Québec in the NHL, this will be the smallest market, even smaller than Arizona and Florida.

 

Not disagreeing with your post at all and the challenges facing Quebec City, but it's roughly the same Metro area as Winnipeg. Slightly larger according to teh Wikipedia. ~800K in each.

 

Phoenix metro is 4.8M. Miami metro is ~6M. (wikipedia)

 

A better comparison is probably Buffalo (~1.1M Metro - wikipedia) but even after 10 years of losing, the Sabres still sell ~90% of their tickets.

 

The challenge the Coyotes have had is roughly akin to the situation in Ottawa - the arena is ~20 miles outside downtown. The challenge for the Panthers is that the team's in Miami.

 

All that said, Houston makes the most sense. League actually gains in total metro size exchanging Phoenix metro for Greater Houston.

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8 hours ago, Math said:

I'm posting back a previous message I wrote in an another topic about QC City having a team. I'm living in QC City but in a strict business/revenue point of view, bringing a team here is not an option for the following reasons:

  • Small market: with Québec in the NHL, this will be the smallest market, even smaller than Arizona and Florida.
  • French market: I know I'll piss my frenchie fellas, but this is a major drawback in terms of revenue generation, marketing and stuff. Besides that, attracting UFAs here will be a nightmare.
  • Politics: Quebecor boss Pierre-Karl Péladeau, the guy who's behind the new arena and potential owner of a franchise, is a die-hard pro-sovereignty and a concurrent of Rogers. The last thing the league wants is to go into politics. With Québec in the league, Bettman & co. will be deep into it and I fully understand they don't want to go that route.
  • Fanbase versatility: most of former Nordiques fans already turned into Habs or Bruins ones. If there's a team back in Québec, it would need to be successful immediately. 2 or 3 sucking seasons and everybody will go back buying Habs and Bruins merchandise. People here have no patience. I truly admire Leafs, Oilers and Jets fans because they are loyal even with a long history of sucking. Here, no playoffs for consecutive years will mean nobody in the arena. QC fanbase area won't be going outside the city limits and there's no way it can expand.
  • Economics (in case of expansion): an expansion fee of more than $650M (it was $500M back when they were in contention with Vegas) and a weak CAD that should climb up in a foreseeable future.

Bettman and his folks never had the intention to consider Québec City as a potential expansion market and/or potential NHL location. They said once that it could be an eventual possibility and the politics here took that for granted and build a brand new arena right away. An epic mistake. Everybody's blaming the League while victimizing themselves but it was obvious that Québec would always be the runner-up. The NHL has nothing to win in integrating Québec in the league. BTW, the NHL will have 32 teams, all spots are filled with all divisions in equilibrium.

 

The only way for Québec City to have a team would be through relocation, but unless exceptional circumstances this avenues is dead. Having the NHL back here is pure fan fantasy. I've spoken some years ago with Jean Gagnon, the former right-arm of Patrick Roy (owner/coach of the Québec Remparts) and some other folks that are deeply involved in ice hockey in the Province, no one sees the return of the NHL here and be viable.

 

That being said, I agree with @CreaseAndAssist. Houston is the #1 spot. Central divison team, the largest market without an NHL team, possibility to build a rivalry with Dallas, and Houston has already been cited in the past for a potential landing spot for the Oilers and the Preds.

 

2 hours ago, radoran said:

 

Not disagreeing with your post at all and the challenges facing Quebec City, but it's roughly the same Metro area as Winnipeg. Slightly larger according to teh Wikipedia. ~800K in each.

 

Phoenix metro is 4.8M. Miami metro is ~6M. (wikipedia)

 

A better comparison is probably Buffalo (~1.1M Metro - wikipedia) but even after 10 years of losing, the Sabres still sell ~90% of their tickets.

 

The challenge the Coyotes have had is roughly akin to the situation in Ottawa - the arena is ~20 miles outside downtown. The challenge for the Panthers is that the team's in Miami.

 

All that said, Houston makes the most sense. League actually gains in total metro size exchanging Phoenix metro for Greater Houston.

 

I don't disagree the other american cities seem to be less risk, still I think at least in Quebec they'll sell more tickets than in those other American cities.

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