The Coyotes played in Phoenix from 1996-2003 before moving to Glendale. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Phoenix Coyotes will change their name to the Arizona Coyotes for next season, according to an announcement today from the team's Co-Owner, President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc via the team's website.
LeBlanc said the change, which had been previously announced without a firm date prior to Wednesday, makes sense because the team's Jobing.com Arena is actually located in Glendale, a city just outside of Phoenix. But the franchise doesn't want to be seen as solely the team of Phoenix or Glendale, but rather as the hockey team for the entire state of Arizona, according to the announcement:
“Becoming the Arizona Coyotes makes sense for us since we play our games in Glendale and the city is such a great partner of ours. We also want to be recognized as not just the hockey team for Glendale or Phoenix, but the team for the entire state of Arizona and the Southwest. We hope that the name ‘Arizona’ will encourage more fans from all over the state, not just the valley, to embrace and support our team.”
To mark the change, the team will wear a new shoulder patch for both home and away jerseys starting next season, beginning with the first preseason game. The rest of the jersey will not change, according to the report.