Hartford and Salt Lake City have expressed interest in luring the Arizona Coyotes out of state

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With the Arizona Coyotes’ future in the Valley up in the air, other cities with aspirations of professional hockey are looking to lure the team away.Catch up quick: Tempe voters last month rejected a proposal for an entertainment district at Priest Drive and Rio Salado Parkway that would have been anchored by a new hockey arena.The district would have been privately funded, but the city would’ve provided massive property tax breaks.NHL commissioner Gary Bettman emphasized at a press conference earlier this month that the league hopes the Coyotes stay in Arizona.”But obviously there is a ticking clock, for sure, in terms of finding a resolution,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said.State of play: After the election, talk turned to the Coyotes’ future in Arizona and the prospect of them leaving town.Houston, Kansas City, Salt Lake City and Hartford, Connecticut, are among the cities floated as possible destinations for the Coyotes.Oddsmakers list Houston as the favorite, followed by Kansas City, Salt Lake City and Atlanta.Here’s the latest on some of the Coyotes’ potential new homes:Hartford: Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont revealed earlier this week he’s collected a group of investors to buy the team.Lamont said the XL Center — the former home to the NHL’s Hartford Whalers before the team moved to Raleigh, North Carolina — will be refurbished to accommodate the Coyotes if they move.Salt Lake City: Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith has expressed interest in moving the Coyotes to SLC, and Daly said the NHL has spoken with him about the possibility, The Athletic reported.Mayor Erin Mendenhall also voiced support for the plan.The team could potentially play in the Delta Center, home to the Jazz, or the Maverik Center in the suburb of West Valley City.Delta Center has issues that could make the basketball arena unappealing for hockey, something Coyotes fans who watched games at the Phoenix Suns’ arena are familiar with.What’s next: For now, the Arizona Coyotes are still an Arizona team and plan to play next season at ASU’s Mullett Arena.Bettman said earlier this month the team is exploring several options for a new home in the Valley and, “Our hope is that one of the options that are being explored and considered will come to fruition.”But any such resolution “has to be in the relative near term,” Daly said, suggesting the NHL doesn’t want Mullett Arena to be anything but a short-term home.

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