Coyotes Attempted to Short-Change Hotels on Bills Late in Arizona Tenure, per Report

More details emerge surrounding the much-maligned franchise's final season in Arizona.
Feb 27, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; View of the Arizona Coyotes logo on a jersey.
Feb 27, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; View of the Arizona Coyotes logo on a jersey. / David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
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The Arizona Coyotes are currently history, having suspended operations on April 18 as the NHL transferred their assets to a new team in Utah.

In the midst of this new reality, the postmortems of the Coyotes' dysfunctional tenure are just beginning. During their 28-year stay in the desert, Arizona advanced past the first round of the playoffs just once—making the Western Conference finals in 2012.

However, the team was renowned for its dysfunction behind the scenes, a dynamic explored at length in a Tuesday morning report from ESPN's Emily Kaplan and Greg Wyshynski.

In the report, Kaplan and Wyshynski suggested the perennially cash-strapped Coyotes attempted to short-change businesses on various bills.

"Multiple sources told ESPN that the Coyotes were either late paying their hotel bills or sometimes just crossed out the total and paid a different amount," Kaplan and Wyshynski wrote. "Other sources indicated local businesses would come to the team seeking payments, would be offered a fraction of what was owed and then would be negotiated down to take less than what was actually owed."

"Having been in business for 40 years, you wouldn't be around if you didn't pay your bills. That's all I want to say about that," owner Alex Meruelo told ESPN, declining further comment.

Regardless of the outcome of the Coyotes' current limbo, it appears both the Utah franchise and a potentially reactivated Arizona franchise could benefit from a fresh start.

Patrick Andres


Patrick Andres has been a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated since 2022. Before SI, his work appeared in The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword, and Diamond Digest. Patrick has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.