The Arizona Coyotes are relocating a franchise, and there’s no, city councils, judges, or NHL executives this time to stop them from doing so.
After purchasing the Springfield Falcons, their AHL affiliate and a team which has called the western Massachusetts city home for 23 years, the Coyotes announced they would be moving the team to Tucson, Arizona where they will play out of the Tucson Convention Center beginning in October 2016.
Tucson city councillors made the deal official when they voted unanimously 7-0 to allow the Falcons to move into the seven-thousand seat downtown arena. The team will have a ten-year lease with an escape clause if they fail to average 2,500 tickets sold per game after five years (giveaway tickets do not count toward this), using the escape clause would result in the team paying back a portion of the taxpayer money used for arena upgrades.
Coyotes officials stress there is no concern of this and that the team would still break even with attendance as low as 1,000 per game.
As for the fans of Springfield who are losing their team, first of all 1996 Winnipeg extends their sympathies, and secondly there is already talk that you’ll be getting a new AHL club. The Portland Pirates are reportedly in talks to relocate to Springfield in time for the 2016-17 AHL season.