Arizona State Land Department Delays June 27th Auction

William Wuneburger - The Hockey Writers

So… remember yesterday when I wrote an article that said “it’s all but written in stone that something negative happens”… well… I have bad news… the most Coyotes thing possible happened and it’s absolutely catastrophic to the team’s CURRENT plans and hopes.

Despite the fact that the land auction is now postponed, there are positives in all of this.

Despite the book I wrote on Twitter/X, I’ll take the time to break it down bullet by bullet.


  • This shows us how SERIOUS (Alex Meruelo) AM is about bringing the Yotes back

The fanbase wants the team back – that’s the bottom line. Meruelo has the market, the fanbase and the revenue intake aligned if he stays true to the process. Adding an extra step PRIOR to the land auction, as opposed to after, that allows for the extras to be added to the land and letting the Coyotes build their state of the art facility, their practice rink and surrounding entertainment district with no problems.

  • There’s a chance that AM’s exclusive reactivation rights expire before the auction date is reset

It’s highly unlikely that it will take the Arizona State Land Department just north of 1200 days (roughly three years) to get the paperwork all filed, and given the fact that the Coyotes social media were all over the situation after the announcement, it’s hard to believe it takes the Meruelo Ownership Group that long to file a lawsuit or the paperwork, whichever they decide to do first (are they even able to sue the Land Department, and does it make sense for them to even do so?).

I leave this bullet open to the determination of the fan, but based on the comments swirling social media, and the fan reactions to the last few decisions made by AM, maybe this one wouldn’t be the worst (just sayin’)?

  • The Arizona State Land Department REQUIRING (their term – not mine) AM and the Yotes to have a SPECIAL USE PERMIT before purchasing the land, means that they see fit to the fact that Meruelo wins the auction and all goes well

It makes a sliver of sense when you take the time to think about it. He needs the permit after the auction, provided he wins, so why not knock the bear out and have him get it beforehand, cement himself as a serious bidder and ensure he really will use the land for what he is asking to use it for – it’s a trust issue.

Meruelo, as is any other businessman or woman – don’t get it mixed, wants to make money as they spend it, right? So who’s to say, and track with me here, that he wins the land, uses it as he pleases, and screws the other bidders, whoever they may be, out of the land and stops anyone else from using it as they intended? He’s built hotels, he wants to build this arena, the apartments and the businesses – so why not make sure he does as he’s going to, and require the second most, arguably the MOST, important aspect of the whole process, to assist with an expedition post auction?


  • This is going to damper the timeline from the NHL set by Bettman

Again, don’t forget, as we learned in my last article, whilst the Commissioner was controlling MOST of – if not ALL of the press conference – a timeline for Meruelo to follow was set, remember?

REFRESHER: Meruelo has three years to make significant headway on a building in order to get the team back within five.

The goal can still realistically be met by the time that Bettman makes his check-in on the arena project if the delay isn’t horribly long.

If the Coyotes take it to court, it could prolong the situation for a while longer, and cause the timeline to be missed if Bettman doesn’t take the reigns before then and slide the timeline back to fit what is possible to be met at that time.

  • An elongation of the waiting process in order to reactivate the NHL in AZ

Oh joy… the game is gone for longer than it already has been.

Despite the season ending, and the Coyotes not being in the playoffs, this offseason/postseason feels significantly DIFFERENT from that of what we are used to.

Maybe it’s the rush to get the team set up in Utah to allow for the league to be set with scheduling for the preseason and jerseys for the draft or maybe it’s just that the team was in Utah nearly days following their last game in Arizona and Ryan Smith has been on the fast track to ensuring the team, front office and organization as a whole is set for puck drop in October.

This certainly doesn’t help the differing feeling.

Take a look at the bigger picture for the elongation – the effects on the game within Arizona regarding youth hockey at all levels in which the Coyotes had their hands in on.

The road is bumpy, long and imperfect – but goddammit – it’s beautiful to me.

Talking about keeping the game of hockey in Arizona makes me smile and the pure ability for the game to live on in a unique market is awesome, especially with how close to the game I have been able to get at the high school, AHL and NHL levels.

The hope for me is a chance to speak with some of the representatives that had their hands in on the deal and hopefully getting a full understanding of where to go next.

Follow me on Twitter/X to stay up to date with whatever I am able to find out – @James_Mackey35

03: Conference Finals Review and Stanley Cup Finals Preview (w/ Kristie Delisi) Hat Trick Hockey Talk

The Eastern and Western Conference Finals have culminated and the Stanley Cup Finals are set. The Florida Panthers are back for their second consecutive year and the Edmonton Oilers have made it back to the SCF for the first time since 2006. Inside the Rink writer Kristie Delisi joins the show to talk ECF and what the Panthers have to do to win it all, as well as a cameo from Steve Peters of PHNX and his breakdown of the Panthers goals in series clinching game 6.Now apart of the Inside the Rink Podcast Network.Follow Us On Twitter: @HatTrickHkyTalkFollow Us On Instagram: @hattrickhockeytalkFollow Us On TikTok: @HatTrickHockeyTalkSubscribe on YouTube, and See the Draft Episode Exclusive To YouTube! – Hat Trick Hockey TalkFollow The Guys on Twitter and Instagram: Ryan: Twitter: @theryanhaggard and Instagram: @hagmansman James: Twitter: @James_Mackey35 and Instagram: @jzmackey35 and @j.mackey_sportsFollow Kristie on Twitter/X: @dancefan4lifeFollow Steve Peters: @spetershockeyCheck out the Linktree: —Support this podcast: — Support this podcast:
  1. 03: Conference Finals Review and Stanley Cup Finals Preview (w/ Kristie Delisi)
  2. 02: Round Two Review and Conference Finals Preview
  3. EP. 1 – We're baaaaack!!!
  4. HTHT Episode 7: Stanley Cup Finals Game 1 Review, and Series Preview, ESPN And The NHL Partnership
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James Mackey

Credentialed Writer Covering the Arizona Coyotes

One thought on “Arizona State Land Department Delays June 27th Auction”

  1. Do you really think the NHL wants to deal with Meruelo, nonwithstanding all the previous talk about supporting an expansion team in Arizona? Plus – – Phoenix has made it’s choice. They do not want hockey or at least where the public has to pay for any of it. Meruelo will foot 100% of the bill? I don’t see it. I’ve never thought that losing any major league franchise was good for any city.

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