Coyotes deny report that team is for sale, emphasize commitment to Arizona

The Arizona Coyotes' Gila River Arena. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)

The Arizona Coyotes issued a statement Thursday denying a report which said the team was up for sale and could be relocated to Houston.

“This is false," the statement reads. "Totally false. We’re not selling. We’re not moving. The Coyotes are 100 per cent committed to playing in Arizona.”

A legal analyst for Forbes, Eric Macramalla, reported earlier in the day that the team was for sale with the intention of an eventual relocation to Houston, citing an anonymous banking source.

Owner Alex Meruelo has previously said he plans to keep the Coyotes in Arizona.

The Coyotes, who had been leasing Gila River Arena on an annual basis since the Glendale City Council voted to opt-out of a multi-million-dollar long-term deal in 2016, are in search of a temporary home to use following the 2021-22 season after Glendale said it would not be renewing the agreement.

The team has proposed a $1.7 billion development in Tempe, a city just east of Phoenix, that would be funded by private investors, though the team said it would seek city sales tax revenues to help pay for $200 million in additional costs, including infrastructure work.

The Coyotes put in the only proposal for the land in September. The city of Tempe said the evaluation process would take several months and will include extensive examinations, with opportunities for community feedback.

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