The Arizona Coyotes’ Future In Limbo as Land Auction Canceled

The Arizona Coyotes’ Future In Limbo as Land Auction Canceled

The Arizona State Land Department’s decision to cancel a land auction that would have been crucial for the reactivation of the Arizona Coyotes has caused significant controversy and uncertainty for the NHL franchise. The auction, originally scheduled for Thursday, was expected to provide the Coyotes with a new home for their arena and facilities as part of a plan to reactivate the dormant franchise. However, the cancellation of the auction has thrown the team’s future into limbo and sparked a heated response from the Coyotes organization.

The ASLD cited concerns over the type of hockey arena that Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo planned to build on the land, specifically in regards to the capacity and zoning regulations. While the land was already zoned for an indoor hockey arena, it appears that the requirements for a 17,000-seat NHL arena, expandable to 18,500 for other events, were not met. This discrepancy led to the ASLD requesting a Special Use Permit before proceeding with the auction, ultimately resulting in its cancellation.

In response to the cancellation, the Arizona Coyotes released a statement expressing their disappointment and frustration with the ASLD’s decision. The team accused the department of acting shortsightedly and jeopardizing the future of NHL hockey in the desert. The Coyotes had reportedly been making preparations for the auction and believed they were on track to win, making the sudden reversal even more disheartening for the organization.

The Coyotes are said to be exploring all legal options in response to the cancellation of the land auction. The team had been diligently following all necessary steps and requirements under Arizona law in preparation for the auction, only to have their plans upended by the ASLD’s decision. The potential loss of revenue for K-12 education that would have come from the auction further emphasizes the impact of the cancellation on both the team and the community.

Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega weighed in on the situation, highlighting the questionable zoning entitlement surrounding the land in question prior to the auction. He criticized Meruelo’s proposed plans as a “fantasy hockey proposal” and suggested that the ASLD’s decision may have been justified based on these concerns. The accusations of a smoke screen and mismanagement by the Coyotes owner add another layer of complexity to the ongoing dispute.

The cancellation of the land auction has left the Arizona Coyotes facing an uncertain future as they seek to reactivate their franchise and secure a new home for their arena. The controversy surrounding zoning regulations and the need for a Special Use Permit has created challenges for the team, leading to a potential legal battle and further delays in their plans. The ASLD’s decision has significant implications not only for the Coyotes but also for the future of NHL hockey in Arizona.

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