An NHL team moving from Arizona to Salt Lake City will have a Utah starting name

NHL team Moving from Arizona to Salt Lake City It will be known as Utah, at least initially, until a long-term name is decided.

“We'll start with Utah in the jersey and figure out the logo and everything, we'll figure out what that is,” new owner Ryan Smith told The Associated Press on Thursday. “We're going to be Utah either way. We have the first part of the name. We don't have the last part.

Acquired by Smith Entertainment Group The franchise formerly known as the Coyotes In a deal unanimously approved Thursday by the league's board of governors, it has already contracted advertising agency Doubleday & Cartwright to handle the rebranding efforts. Former owner Alex Merulo carries the Coyotes name And if he can make an arena, the franchise has a chance to reignite.

The short deadline for relocating the club marks the first such season with a placeholder name Professional Women's Hockey League Year one or Washington's NFL team before 2020 and '21 They become generals.

“It's going to be Utah, obviously,” Smith said. “It's really important that we don't say, 'Hey, this has to be ready in the fall,' especially when it's Utah. I think both leagues are great, and it's good to run the process and then drop it when it drops.”

While working on that process, Smith's first priority was physically moving players and staff to Utah and setting them up in the state.

“There's a good roster and a lot of young talent, and we've got to bring those guys into the Smith Entertainment group and show them what that means and what it's all about,” Smith said. “I think it's a good opportunity for us to introduce them to the state of Utah and bring the community together to get them.”

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SEG also owns 12,000 unobstructed viewing seats for hockey, including potential renovations of the Delta Center that will be “full speed ahead” with infrastructure, the home of the NBA's Utah Jazz. There are plans to expand that number to around 17,500.

“We really want to use our arena and spend time building the best double-sport arena that's out there because we want to keep people as close or as vertical as we can to watch both games,” Smith said. . “It's really fun and challenging, but we're going to do it.”

Making Utah a hockey market has been a challenge, though with 17 rinks already in place and a youth hockey program giving the franchise a head start. Smith plans to build more hoops to make it easier for all ages to play.

Former NHL player Ken Saborin, who played in the minors for the International Hockey League's Salt Lake Golden Eagles from 1987-91 to 92-93, raves about the city, but thinks success will be determined by how the team plays. .

“If they put a successful product out there, that's definitely going to help, and (Smith's team) is probably dedicated to doing that,” Sabourin said Thursday. “It's a good hockey market, it's a good sports market — there's no doubt about it. I think they have the fans. It's just whether they come out or not. They'll definitely watch it. TV won't be a problem. No matter how good they are the first year in the building, that's an issue. I'm sure there won't be.

Smith, who can skate a little and mostly plays roller hockey, doesn't mind. He points to sold-out NCAA tournament men's basketball games at the Delta Center as evidence that fans will fill the building to watch NHL hockey.

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“One thing I know about Utah is people show up,” he said. “It's different here. We've had 291 live sold-out games at the Delta Center (for jazz). I think we've sold out every concert that's come to town. It's just what we do. We show up, and I have a lot of faith in the people in Utah.

That faith was immediately rewarded Smith said The company received 11,000 season ticket deposits within the first four hours of the sale being announced.



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