Andrew Barroway: ‘Coyotes To Stay In Arizona Long-term’


The new majority owner of the Arizona Coyotes Andrew Barroway was  interviewed by Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Thursday and had some interesting things to say regarding the Coyotes future in Arizona.

Barroway relieved some fears that Coyotes fans may have about the dreaded out-clause in the Coyotes ownership deal. He used the phrase “long-term” in almost every answer he gave to the questions that were asked.

When Barroway was in the process of buying the team, reports surfaced that he was interested in buying the team only to flip them and move them to another city. With the NHL exploring the Las Vegas market for a hockey team, some connected the “flip the team” rumors to the Las Vegas rumors and just like that, more Arizona relocation speculation began.

When asked what his plans were for the Coyotes in Arizona, Barroway responded,

"“This is my future, I want to build a long-term winner here and this is where I want to be and I’m as thrilled as can be to be here. This is it.” As for the out-clause that refuses to go away, he said, “It was not something that we asked for. It was part of the prior deal and I inherited that. But no, it’s not important and we’re here to stay.”"

That last sentence is an important one. As most Coyotes fans know, if the team exceeds $50 million in losses by the fifth year of operation, the ownership group, IceArizona, can exercise the out-clause and move the team out of Arizona. By saying “it’s not important and we’re here to stay”, it’s almost as if he is saying that no matter what happens in regards to the $50 million, they’ll stay and the out-clause is basically meaningless.

Without looking too deep and searching for things, that’s just what it seems like he is saying. If it is, that is fantastic news for Coyotes fans. Especially given the state of their current season. It’s been a rough one and with a rebuild incoming, winning is going to be a little harder. Which means it may be a little tougher to sell the more casual fans on regularly attending games.

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Despite all that though, Barroway confirmed in the interview that sponsorships are up and corporate sales are up. The attendance has improved as well. Arizona no longer occupies the 30th spot in terms of average attendance.

Everything is trending up for the Coyotes. The organization has never really had an ownership group like this. After years of off ice troubles, Barroway and IceArizona have a big mess to clean and are basically starting over from scratch with the team.

So far, they’ve done really well with fixing the organization. The group seems up to the task and have done well to prove that. As for fixing the on ice product, that is going to take a season or two which could play a role into what the monetary losses look like by the fifth year.

Barroway’s comments are refreshing and make the idea of a rebuild easier to swallow knowing that the team isn’t doomed if they don’t win immediately. Five years may not be long enough to fully turn the organization around and it’s good to hear that Barroway is prepared to give it the necessary time that is required.

A little breathing room is more than welcomed here in the desert when it come to the Coyotes.