In an open and candid letter to the Arizona Coyotes’ hockey fans and ticket holders, the Chairman and Governor of The Arizona Coyotes, Alex Meruelo, shares his unwavering commitment to the team, the sport, and The Valley.
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To our incredible hockey fans:
Challenges. Obstacles. Setbacks. No Defeats.
I have faced and overcome many stumbling blocks in my over 40 years in business. I have fallen down many times, but I take great pride that each and every time I get back up and end up stronger than ever—more resilient, more committed, more determined.
Last April we completed another rebuilding season for our hockey team—a rebuild that I felt was necessary in order to create a sustainable foundation to bring a Stanley Cup to the Valley. In May, we experienced a setback in our effort to build our permanent home—a disappointment to us and to all of our fans that were excited by our proposal to build the first privately funded sports facility in the history of Arizona.
We have faced setbacks but no defeats.
Now is another time to pick ourselves up, recommit, and win.
The Tempe arena proposal was defeated, but we were not. We got right to work. On to other options in the Valley. On to the upcoming NHL season.
Were we disappointed by the vote in Tempe? Absolutely, but not defeated. I can’t ask our players to give it their all on the ice if I don’t do the same as the owner. Our organization can’t ask them to pick themselves up after a loss if we don’t all do the same ourselves. We are using all of our resources and reach to put together a great team on the ice, and to secure a new permanent home that will be the envy of Arizona and all of the NHL.
Know this: we have left no potential option unturned to give our fans the permanent home they deserve. The Valley is where the organization and I want to be. My family lives here. We are all in.
We know this community IS a sports mecca. The biggest golf tournament in the world is here. Super Bowls. Final Fours. NASCAR Championships – they are all here. And we intend to keep our rapidly rising team here to keep a four-sport community. That will take a permanent arena solution and my pledge to you, is that we will continue to devote whatever it takes to get us to another level, the ultimate level. More news to come very soon.
Our commitment on the ice is just as strong.
We had a monster off season with the free agency signings of Matt Dumba, Jason Zucker, Alexander Kerfoot, Nick Bjugstad, Troy Stecher, the re-signings of Jack McBain, Matias Maccelli, Connor Ingram and trading for Sean Durzi. Couple that with the signing of Logan Cooley, an electrifying player who will pull you out of your seat. A player who the The Athletic recently touted as having one of the best odds to win Rookie of the Year. I hope you saw the all-world talent he has displayed this preseason.
Clayton Keller will be back too, our record setting All-Star who anchors a passionate team that we hope and expect to play at a high level this season.
Heading it all is one of the finest coaches in the NHL, Andre “Bear” Tourigny, who we inked to a long-term deal in the off-season. Indeed, ESPN and many others have rated our off-season an “A,” thanks to the outstanding work and vision of our General Manager Bill Armstrong.
Of course, all of this will take place at Mullett Arena. Though our temporary arena, what a home ice advantage it created last year with its unique, loud, and electric environment. Though in the midst of a team rebuild, we had the 8th best home record in the NHL. With that “Mullett Magic” was born.
There is not a bad seat in the house. Our home is unique. Our organization has created something special for you to watch games with your friends and family. There is nothing quite like it in the entire NHL.
We are on the eve of our 2023-2024 season. I made the decision several years back to rebuild our team and secure a permanent home in the Valley. There was no other way for long-term success. We need to create something that is built to last. It requires patience, capital and determination, all resources that have served me well in business and in life. I often leave the talking to others. But now, as we enter an exciting and important phase for our franchise, I want you to hear directly from me.
It’s our time now. With a ferocious young team. Outstanding management including President and CEO, Xavier A. Gutierrez and my son, Alex Meruelo, Jr. An organization-wide commitment to being a community leader and making an impact in the lives of others. And an owner who is resolute and committed to you and this Valley.
Be a part of the turnaround. Be a part of history. And be a part of one of the most exciting young teams in all of sports that has a never to be replicated venue to match.
Our schedule has been released. We kick off the season back east, then the magic continues with our home opener on October 21, 2023. It’s going to be a hell of a year and I hope to see you there.