Arizona Coyotes: The AHL is Officially Coming to Tucson


The American Hockey League is officially coming to Tucson. On Tuesday night, the Tucson City Council voted unanimously (7-0) to approve a lease agreement for the Arizona Coyotes newly purchased AHL team to play at the Tucson Convention Center.

Following the approval from the AHL Board of Governors to buy and relocate the Springfield Falcons last week, the approval by the city council was the last obstacle for the Coyotes to clear in order to bring the team to Arizona’s second largest market.

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The lease agreement is for 10 years with a five-year out clause if a minimum attendance average is not met. The Tucson Convention Center will also be undergoing 3.2 million worth of renovations to the locker rooms, training rooms and medical facilities. The renovations will be completed before the start of the season in October.

As of right now, Arizona’s newest hockey team is nameless. A team name should be announced soon when a name the team contest held by the Coyotes concludes on May 31.

With Tucson being Arizona’s second largest market, Coyotes ownership IceArizona, would want to find a way to spread their brand to the southern region and with a move like this, it’s a good way to do that.

Having the NHL coaching staff so close to the farm system will also make for better player development. In the event of an emergency call up, trade or even sitting a player, potential replacements are now just two hours away.

For the fans, having the prospects closer to home will make them easier to consistently follow giving them a more intent knowledge of the players in the entire organization.

It’s been an exciting time for hockey fans in the desert over the last year. The Coyotes are exploring coming back to a central location in the valley, a top rated prospect farm system is on the verge of coming to fruition, Arizona State University now has a Division I hockey program and Tucson is now home to professional hockey.

Having all three is not a common thing, as Coyotes TV play-by-play man Matthew McConnell pointed out on Twitter, Arizona is just one of five states to be home to NHL, AHL and NCAA Division I teams.

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In just a short period of time, the hockey landscape of Arizona has changed considerably. It wasn’t that long ago that the Coyotes were on the verge of leaving the state, and now, Arizona just acquired another team.