Madness in Arizona

Eli Lipke

More stories from Eli Lipke

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BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 15: Clayton Keller #9 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates with J.J. Moser #90 after scoring a goal against the Boston Bruins during the second period at TD Garden on October 15, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

There’s no debating that the Arizona Coyotes have been taking the title for being known as the worst team in the NHL for a very long time. Without a doubt, this franchise is arguably the worst to ever make an appearance in the league. It may finally be time for them to be abolished and relocated. 

Ever since the Coyotes moved to Arizona in the 1996-97 season, the organization has fallen short of every mark, constantly embarrassing itself. In the team’s twenty-sixth completed season, the Coyotes have only made the playoffs nine times, which is only around thirty-five percent of the time. On a positive note, although a miniscule one, the Coyotes have accumulated only one division title. However, on the other end of the spectrum, the team has multiple last-place finishes in the division as well. 

Not only have they struggled on the ice, but they have also struggled just as much off of the ice. The franchise has done nothing profitable either, for ever since the team expanded to Arizona, it has been in debt every year. In the current season, the average home crowd attendance so far is 4,600 fans per game, which is the worst in the entire league. To shed some light on the disparity between two teams in the same situation, the second worse attendance average belongs to the Buffalo Sabres at 13,634 per game. That’s a difference of just over 9,000 fans. In all fairness, the low numbers may be somewhat accredited to the venue in which the team plays at because it had to relocate to a college arena because the organization did not have enough money and fan revenue to remain at the previous arena. Even with that being said, the Arizona fans often times fall short of filling up the smaller college arena as well.

The obvious solution to resolving the issues of this franchise is to move it somewhere else. There are multiple cities that could sustain and maintain a professional hockey team, such as Quebec City, Houston and San Francisco. All of these cities have housed professional sports teams in the past and have thrived. In the end, moving a team to the desert of Arizona was just a terrible Idea. 

If the NHL really cared about its teams, the league would dive into saving this shattered organization. The front office of the Coyotes clearly has not had control of the situation since it stepped foot in Arizona. The fan base clearly doesn’t care to support it. The NHL has to do what it did with Seattle; the NHL brought a new team to a big city with die-hard fans. The players in Arizona do not deserve this. They want to play in front of a packed stadium, not in a college arena because their organization had to spend money they do not have to build a stadium. 

I firmly believe that every NHL fan , not just an Arizona fan, would like to see this organization in new colors and in a new city. Among all of the stats to support a move, one is for certain: The state of Arizona is not meant to host the NHL.