The Very Strange And Poorly Sourced Coyotes To Houston Story

Forbes Sports Money claims the team is up for sale and could wind up in Houston.

Forbes Sports Money had an unusual story. The National Hockey League’s Arizona franchise is up for sale and the business could be bought by someone in Houston and moved there. It was a poorly written story which seemed more like gossip or a rumor. Arizona’s ownership won the right to possibly develop land in Tempe, Arizona after that city put out a Request for Proposal. Tempe wanted a stadium or an arena on the land. The city of Tempe has not rejected the plan publicly although Tempe has not approved the plan either. Sky Harbor Airport officials want to know more about the arena-village plan as the plot of land is close to the airport. Arizona ownership has not shared many details about the arena-village plan with airport officials. The hockey team’s ownership put out a statement contradicting the Forbes Sports Money story, “This is false. Totally false. We’re not selling. We’re not moving.” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman also knocked down the Forbes Sports Money story as “completely false.” The team needs a home in 2022-23 as it is not returning to Glendale.

In September, Arizona ownership submitted a plan to develop land in Tempe. It was the only proposal Tempe officials received. Tempe officials wanted a sports stadium or an arena and a practice facility on the property. They wanted a team owner to create a stadium and/or an arena village that would include 1,000 residential units, 200,000 square feet of retail space, and a large plaza with amenities. Name recognition for Tempe and an opportunity for Tempe public service announcements. Tempe is now reviewing the arena-village proposal that was crafted with the hockey team in mind. Forbes Sports Money threw out a story that is filled with journalistic holes and is missing an important element. Has the Tempe-hockey team ownership deal fallen through?

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Arizona Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta, center, celebrates with defenseman Kevin Connauton (44) and right wing Richard Panik (14) after they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in an NHL hockey game Monday, March 26, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)