The Arizona Coyotes have cleared the final hurdle in order to relocate their AHL affiliate to Tucson.
From the Coyotes’ press release:
The AHL’s Board of Governors approved the sale of the Springfield Falcons AHL franchise to the Coyotes on May 10; Tucson City Council approved a 10-year arena lease agreement between the Coyotes and the Tucson Convention Center (TCC) on May 17; and the Coyotes closed on the purchase of the franchise on May 18. The Coyotes’ AHL affiliate will play its home games at the TCC beginning in October.
The Coyotes’ top farm team will play in the AHL’s Pacific Division. In 2015-16, the Pacific Division featured the AHL affiliates of the Anaheim Ducks (San Diego Gulls), Calgary Flames (Stockton Heat), Colorado Avalanche (San Antonio Rampage), Dallas Stars (Texas Stars), Edmonton Oilers (Bakersfield Condors), Los Angeles Kings (Ontario Reign) and San Jose Sharks (San Jose Barracuda).
The Vancouver Canucks are now the NHL’s only Pacific Division team not to have its minor-league affiliate in the AHL’s Pacific Division. (The Canucks’ is in Utica.)
“We are absolutely thrilled to relocate our AHL team to Tucson,” said Coyotes’ president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc. “The Coyotes were part of the initial discussion to form a Pacific Division in the AHL but we were unable to secure a franchise prior to last season. We are extremely excited and proud to bring AHL hockey to a first class city like Tucson. This further proves that the Coyotes ownership group is committed to Arizona and to growing the Coyotes brand and the great game of hockey in our state.”
The new AHL team has yet to be named. Click here to make a suggestion.
According to the Coyotes, the Tucson Convention Center has a capacity of approximately 6,700.