We finally have a name attached to the sale of the Arizona Coyotes, Alex Meruelo. The Athletic’s Craig Morgan broke the story and the team confirmed Meruelo’s interest. Meruelo is a billionaire businessman who owns a multitude of other properties including casinos, TV and radio stations and banks.The sale is likely to be finished this summer so what exactly would it mean for the future of the franchise?
There are a couple things we need to find out first, 1) How much of this deal will be financed? 2. Will Meruelo want to keep the team in Arizona and be pro-active in getting a new arena? 3) What are Meruelo’s motivations for wanting to enter the sports industry?
We have partial answers to a few of these questions, Craig Morgan tweeted this when asked about how much financing would go into the deal.
As far as his motivation for getting into sports, he tried to do it before but got the no-go from the NBA when trying to purchase the Atlanta Hawks in 2011 for $300 Million,
"Although all parties negotiated in good faith, we were not able to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement on some key issues given the current uncertainty surrounding the [NBA] labor issue," Meruelo said in a statement. "As a result we mutually decided to terminate the deal effective immediately."
At the very least it’s exciting to hear the word billionaire attached to the Arizona Coyotes ownership. More money means the ability to spend it on free agents and making the on-ice product better.
The cool thing about Meruelo's potential ownership is that he would become the first latino to own an NHL franchise.