3 pro sports franchises Coyotes fans can look to for hope that the team will return

With the Arizona Coyotes likely going to Salt Lake City, not all hope is lost for the fans who value the organization’s brand and history.
Arizona Coyotes v Edmonton Oilers
Arizona Coyotes v Edmonton Oilers / Leila Devlin/GettyImages
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While the Arizona Coyotes are, in a manner of speaking, all but heading for Salt Lake City, Utah, they are also, in a manner of speaking, sticking around the desert should the NHL move forward with the relocation. One reason is that it looks like their current owner, Alex Meruelo, will retain the organization’s brand and history, so there is some good despite the Phoenix area most likely losing a team that has been in the desert since 1996. 

While we don’t know what the new team in Utah will look like, it does appear that Meruelo will have five years to make something happen and ultimately resurrect the Coyotes. The situation looks uncertain at the moment since we’re still over two months from an auction that Meruelo wants to bid on that would comprise the first step in the organization’s return; it wouldn’t be the first time a professional sports team went elsewhere, only to return to its former city, name, and history intact. 

Arizona Coyotes fans can find hope in franchises in other major sports leagues

Like any other sports league, the NHL knows how much it means for fans of a team to keep the name, colors, and history so a new team could return at some point, or as it appears in the Coyotes case, five years. 

This kind of happened in 2011-12 when the Winnipeg Jets returned to the league via relocation. Although the Coyotes, who once upon a time were the original Jets, have kept the original franchise’s logo, hockey fans in Winnipeg at least got to see their team return with its name, albeit without its original history, colors, or logos. 

Just for context, the Jets do wear the throwback uniforms of the team that began play in 1972 occasionally, but that’s about as far as the actual connection goes. That doesn’t appear to be the case with the Coyotes, just as the following three franchises in different sports fans in the desert can look up to, starting with a certain NFL team.