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Future of the Roadrunners; Alex Meruelo talks plans for what's next

Posted at 4:16 PM, Apr 19, 2024

PHOENIX, Ariz. — The Arizona Coyotes are heading to Salt Lake City next season, but the future of the Tucson Roadrunners remains up in the air.

The Roadrunners still have two years left on their lease at Tucson Arena and would owe millions if they left early for Tempe.

“This is very early in the process, so I’m not sure what we are going to do," Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo said.

Despite Meruelo making the statement Thursday that the Roadrunners would be leaving for Mullett Arena, it turns out that may not be the case.

“My words were taken out of context the other day," Meruelo said. "I did say them, but we don’t have any agreements with ASU or, right now we haven’t even spoken to the people from Tucson.”

Meruelo has also floated the idea of the Roadrunners splitting time next season, playing games in both Tucson and Tempe.

He negotiated the right to keep the Roadrunners while he tries to build a new arena in Phoenix for an NHL expansion team.

“So far, we are very happy in Tucson and the Roadrunners are doing very well," Meruelo said. "I think we’re in Second place or First place and we’re very excited about the team and the future; but we have not yet decided where we’re going to go. We just want to make sure we continue to have hockey thrive in the desert.”

The Roadrunners' playoffs begin Wednesday, April 24, and will be played at Tucson Arena.

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Erin Patterson is a reporter for KGUN 9. She's agraduate of the University of Alabama with a Bachelor’s in News Media with a Sports Concentration. Erin recently obtained her Master's Degree in Sports Journalism from Arizona State University at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, where she gained experience a sports reporter, anchor and producer. Share your story ideas and important issues with Erin by emailing erin.patterson@kgun9.com.

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