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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San Jose Earthquakes, MLS

The San Jose Earthquakes initially started play as the San Jose Clash when Major League Soccer (MLS) commenced in 1996, but you can technically trace the team’s nickname back to 1974 during the days of the National American Soccer League (NASL). They played as the Clash until 1998 before reclaiming the Earthquakes old nickname. 

Among the league’s top teams in the 2000s, the Earthquakes won a pair of MLS Cups, before the city lost their team to Houston following failed efforts for a soccer-specific venue. But, the MLS was kind enough to let the Earthquakes keep their name, identity, history, colors, and everything associated with the franchise in California, while the Houston Dynamo was merely stocked with the Earthquakes players and personnel. 

Fans also didn’t need to wait long before the Earthquakes returned, as they were back in the MLS by 2008. No, they weren’t competitive early, but they won the Western Conference in the regular season just four years later in 2012, before losing to the Los Angeles Galaxy in the playoffs. 

Like the Browns and Hornets, the Earthquakes also haven’t been relevant during most seasons. That said, perhaps if the Coyotes made a grand return, they will break the spell and play relevant hockey. At this point, the team’s future is a mystery, but there is hope that the Yotes, along with their complete identity, will one day return to the NHL. 


(Additional historical data provided by Hockey-Reference, Pro-Football-Reference, Basketball-Reference, and FB-Reference)