It's official! NHL approves Coyotes relocation to Salt Lake City

NHL team will first share Delta Center with Utah Jazz
It's official! NHL approves Coyotes relocation to Salt Lake City
Posted at 5:04 PM, Apr 18, 2024

Rev up the Zamboni, the NHL is officially coming to Salt Lake City!

The NHL's Board of Governors approved the relocation of the Arizona Coyotes to northern Utah Thursday, with the team set to take the ice next season. The move was the final step in a process that began making headlines last week.

Team owner Ryan Smith used just 7 words to welcome the NHL to Utah, posting, "The NHL is here! Utah let's go!" to social media.

While expected, especially after the league's executive committee approved the move Tuesday, the stamp of approval by NHL owners opens a new era for hockey in the Beehive State as Utah welcomes another professional sports franchise.

“As everyone knows, Utah is a vibrant and thriving state, and we are thrilled to be a part of it,” said NHL Commissioner.

The Smith Entertainment Group will take the reins of a Coyotes team that continually had trouble finding a permanent home in Arizona, and ended its season Wednesday without making the playoffs.

“We are committed to building a Stanley Cup-contending team and are thrilled to welcome incredible players, coaches, staff, and their families to Utah," said Ryan and Ashley Smith. "Today is a great day for Utah, for hockey, and for building a legacy that will have a lasting impact for generations to come."

With a possible new arena in downtown Salt Lake City still a few years away, the NHL team will initially share the Delta Center with the Utah Jazz, also owned by the Smiths.

As with most Utahns, Gov. Spencer Cox was enthusiastic about the announcement on bringing the highest level of pro hockey to the state.

“Utah is once again at the center of the sports world as we welcome the NHL to Utah," he said in a statement. "Thanks to Ryan and Ashley Smith, Salt Lake City just keeps getting better and better. The whole state will benefit from this new franchise and we couldn’t be more excited by this announcement.”

The Coyotes brand will remain with now-former Arizona owner Alex Meruelo, with the Utah team set for a complete rebrand encompassing a nickname and franchise colors.

This story was originally published by Jeff Tavss at Scripps News Salt Lake City.

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