Photo by Robert Murray, free to use under the Unsplash license.

There was a time when the NHL thought that relocating the Winnipeg Jets to Arizona in 1996 and rebranding the team as the Phoenix Coyotes was exactly what they needed to strike it big in the Copper State. However, now things aren’t looking too good and they are debating whether or not they have a future in Arizona or need to start fresh somewhere else.

Arizona Coyotes vs Minnesota Wild via NHL YouTube

Now known as the Arizona Coyotes, they might have to ditch the “Arizona” part of their name if they can’t get their difficult financial situation fixed in the near future.

In 2021, the Arizona Coyotes faced a significant setback when they nearly faced eviction from their arena during the season and subsequently moved to the smaller Mullett Arena at Arizona State University.

The team’s ambitions for a new facility in Tempe were hindered by public funding challenges, compounded by the rejection of ballot measures by city voters. With uncertainties about the franchise’s future swirling, majority owner Alex Meruelo is actively pursuing options to prevent a relocation outside Arizona.

Mullett Arena via Boston Bruins YouTube

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Meruelo recently committed to securing a 41-acre lot in Mesa, aiming to construct a potential new arena within a 15-minute distance from the Coyotes’ current home, according to Arizona Sports.

The team released a statement about the Mesa possibility, saying, “The Coyotes remain committed to building the first privately funded sports facility in Arizona history and ensuring the Valley as the Club’s permanent home. In addition to this property in Mesa, the club will continue to explore other potential sites in the East Valley.”

While they fight to stay in Arizona, one intriguing option could be a move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As SB Nation points out, the frozen tundra is a perfect spot for an NHL team. Enterprising residents of Miltown even started a petition, but in nearly two years it has only garnered 1,200 votes.

What do you think is the best course of action for the Arizona Coyotes? Let us know in the comments below and across social media.

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