By Andrew Bell
As of today, it looks as if the Arizona Coyotes will have a new majority owner soon. On Wednesday in Las Vegas, the NHL Board of Governors and commissioner Gary Bettman approved a proposed plan to give a majority share of the franchise to businessman Alex Meruelo.
It’s worth noting that the deal has only been approved, it hasn’t been finalized. The deal is supposed to close come July, per Coyotes President and CEO Ahron Cohen.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirms that the Board of Governors has approved a majority-stake sale of the Coyotes to Alex Meruelo. Again, the sale is not expected to close until later this summer.
— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) June 19, 2019
The plan would make current team owner, Andrew Barroway, a minority owner of the franchise. According to Craig Morgan of The Athletic, Barroway would retain five percent of the sale.
As for Meruelo, he would become the first Latino majority owner in the NHL once the deal closes. A 55-year-old of Cuban descent, Meruelo formerly placed a bid on the Atlanta Hawks in 2011, but things didn’t pan out.
Among other business endeavors, Meruelo founded Meruelo Group, which is a real estate development firm. He will be faced with off-ice tasks such as a possible new arena and keeping the franchise in Arizona. On Wednesday, Bettman told reporters that the Coyotes’ current home, Gila River Arena in Glendale, “is not viable longterm,” according to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan.
As for other forthcomings with the Coyotes, the NHL Draft is this Friday and Saturday on June 21-22 in Vancouver. The team is slated to have the No. 14 overall pick. Next week, the Coyotes will also be hosting their Prospect Development Camp on June 24-28.