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Former Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo interview
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Alex Meruelo caught crying in front of other NHL owners

Published April 19, 2024 at 11:55
BY SAMER
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Former Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo reportedly cried in front of other NHL owners when he found out he was losing his franchise.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the Arizona Coyotes are now 'inactive' but have the chance to return as an expansion franchise if owner Alex Meruelo constructs a new arena within five years.


The Coyotes have been sold to Ryan Smith, owner of the NBA's Utah Jazz. Smith acquired all of the Coyotes' hockey assets, including its roster, draft picks, and hockey operations department.



Former owner Alex Meruelo has an exclusive five-year window to prove he can build a new arena to bring back the Coyotes. He cannot sell his stake in the team and can only bring on minority partners.

Under a gag order, Meruelo has yet to publicly discuss the sale, but he received a five-year exclusive window to prove he can build an arena to bring back the Coyotes. It starts with winning the auction on June 27. Full payment must follow 30 days later. He keeps the intellectual property and the business operations. He also asked for — and apparently received — observer status on the Board of Governors, even though he's no longer an owner of a team. Some sources have indicated that if he accomplishes everything asked of him, he gets Coyotes 2.0, as long as he returns the $1 billion. On Thursday the league confirmed Meruelo is still approved as an NHL owner and does not need any new clearance.

There are some guardrails — timelines he must reach. Bettman told Sportsnet's Caroline Cameron that Meruelo's ownership of the now-inactive team is not transferable. (Apparently, there are limits to the percentages he can offer to any minority partners in the team and/or a new arena.)

It is believed, however, Meruelo was surprisingly emotional about selling the Coyotes' hockey operations, and on Thursday made that very clear to his peers.

- Elliotte Friedman

I have serious doubts about this man's ability to deliver on his promises. Frankly, I'm not convinced that anything will be accomplished in the next five years. What struck me the most was Meruelo's reported emotional response to selling the team.

I didn't think Glendale would kick me out, but they did. They wanted a 20-year deal, and I said no,»

Crying and throwing a fit in front of the NHL Board of Governors? It's hard to take him seriously.

Meruelo made his first public statement on the sale today, but his words don't hold much weight for me. His excuse about being kicked out by Glendale doesn't hold water. Maybe if he managed his finances better, he wouldn't be in this situation. It's frustrating to see him act this way.

Meruelo's emotional response to selling the team surprised many, but his ability to deliver remains uncertain. His recent comments on the sale have been criticized, with some questioning his past decisions.


The NHL expressed gratitude to Meruelo for his commitment to the Coyotes and Arizona. They also welcomed Ryan and Ashley Smith to the NHL family, praising their collaboration in resolving the situation.

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Alex Meruelo speaks publicly on sale of Coyotes, reportedly cried in front of other NHL owners
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April 19   |   235 answers
Alex Meruelo caught crying in front of other NHL owners

Do you think Alex Meruelo will bring back the Arizona Coyotes within the next 5 years?

Yes5222.1 %
No18377.9 %
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