Breaking: Struggling NHL franchise officially sold to New York based billionaire

Breaking: Struggling NHL franchise officially sold to New York based billionaire

Uh oh… relocation? Bring back the Nordiques!



Earlier today the Arizona Coyotes officially introduced new majority owner Alex Meruelo to its fanbase. Meruelo purchased a 95% ownership stake from former majority owner Andrew Barroway, while Barroway retains 5% ownership.

Check it out:

The curious thing about Meruelo’s purchase is that the New York born, Los Angeles based billionaire has no apparent ties to the Phoenix, AZ area. This, of course, has Coyotes fans a little concerned. After all, the team has had a difficult time in Arizona the past decade and there’s no guarantee that they’ll remain in the area longterm. 

Media analysts contend that the Coyotes need a new, centrally located arena that is easier for Phoenix residents to get to during weeknight games. The Coyotes currently play out of Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona which is approximately 12 miles (20 kms) outside of Phoenix. 

Of course, there’s always the possibility that Meruelo relocates the team back to Phoenix with the construction of a new downtown arena. Stay tuned, Coyotes fans.

Read below for the full press release announcement of this development, courtesy of the Coyotes' official website:

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - The Arizona Coyotes today announced that businessman Alex Meruelo has purchased the controlling interest in the team from Andrew Barroway. The closing of the transaction makes Meruelo, 55, the new Majority Owner, Chairman and Governor of the Coyotes and the only Hispanic controlling owner of a National Hockey League club.
"This is an incredible moment for me and my entire family," said Meruelo. "The Arizona Coyotes team is poised to do great things on and off the ice. I look forward to helping hockey continue to thrive in the desert, and I am committed to providing our passionate fans, loyal partners and the entire State of Arizona with a team they can be proud of for years to come."
Coyotes President & CEO Ahron Cohen called Meruelo's purchase of the team a capstone to what has, thus far, been a momentous off-season. "Mr. Meruelo is a proven winner and his track record of multi-faceted and dynamic business accomplishments makes us well-positioned for continued growth, progress and long-term success here in Arizona. Today marks a major step forward for our organization and our great fans and partners."
The California-based Meruelo Group has roots dating to 1986. Meruelo has built a broad portfolio of businesses in casino gaming, real estate, construction and engineering, hospitality, television and radio stations, food services, and private equity. The son of Cuban immigrants, Meruelo got his start in his father's tuxedo business.
With the transaction, Barroway will retain a minority stake in the team and become an Alternate Governor with the Club. Cohen and John Chayka, President of Hockey Operations and General Manager, will continue as Alternate Governors.
Meruelo thanked Barroway for what he called "invaluable service to the Club."
"Andy deserves credit for stabilizing the franchise and for growing the game of hockey in Arizona," said Meruelo. "I look forward to working with him in the future and want to thank him for his hard work and commitment to the team."
Barroway expressed his excitement for the direction of the franchise moving forward.
"It has been an honor and a privilege serving as the Chairman and Governor of the Coyotes," said Barroway. "I am proud of the work we did to make this organization better, and I am pleased to be passing the torch to someone who will guide this franchise to great days ahead."