The Arizona Coyotes will not be headed to Houston or Quebec City, the team said in an emphatic statement released Thursday, shortly after a report said relocation could be coming soon for the franchise.
"This is false. Totally false. We're not selling. We're not moving. The Coyotes are 100 percent committed to playing in Arizona," the Coyotes said, via the Arizona Republic.
On Thursday morning, Forbes reporters Eric Macramalla and Mike Ozanian said the Coyotes are "for sale again with idea of buyer eventually moving team to a new arena in Houston." It was the latest rumor about a team that has been the subject of relocation chatter in recent years.
The Coyotes have been in Arizona since 1996 when the Winnipeg Jets relocated to Phoenix. In 2003, the Coyotes took up residence at Gila River Arena (then Glendale Arena) in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale, but the city opted against extending its lease with the team beyond the 2021-22 season. The uncertainty surrounding the Coyotes' home in 2022 and beyond has increased talk that a relocation could be on the way soon.
The team submitted a $1.7 billion proposal for an entertainment district in Tempe, Ariz. that would include a new arena. But Quebec City has already built an 18,259-seat arena in hopes of reviving the defunct Quebec Nordiques and Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta reportedly had "preliminary talks" about buying the Coyotes back in 2018.