GLENDALE – The Coyotes new ownership group on Tuesday confirmed that the team eventually will be changing its name.
“It will become the Arizona Coyotes,” Alternate Governor Anthony LeBlanc told reporters during a press conference that introduced the team’s new ownership group. “That was a request from the City of Glendale, but one that we felt made a lot of sense, and obviously following in the footsteps of other franchises here in the Valley.”
The Valley also is home to the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals and MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks.
LeBlanc, however, said the team name would remain Phoenix Coyotes for the 2013-14 season.
“(The name change) will not happen until, at minimum, the 2014-15 season,” LeBlanc said. “We have to go through the process of applying to the League, but our expectation and hope is that we’ll begin (calling the team Arizona Coyotes) for the beginning of the following season.”
“The reason is quite simple. First and foremost, the franchise is not located in the City of Phoenix. We’re in Glendale, who is a strong partner of ours. But we also want to be the team not just for Glendale or Phoenix, but for the entire state and, quite frankly, for the entire southwest.”
The franchise has been known as the Phoenix Coyotes since it moved to the Valley from Winnipeg in 1996. The Coyotes, of course, played their home games in downtown Phoenix from 1996 until 2003 when they moved to their current home in Glendale.