As of the beginning of the 2014-15 NHL preseason, the Phoenix Coyotes will be no more. Well... Kind of. They'll be changing their team name from the Phoenix Coyotes to the Arizona Coyotes.
The change was announced after the franchise's fate in Glendale was finally decided, with the city council voting 4-3 in favor of a 15-year, $225 million lease deal for Jobing.com Arena to Renaissance Sports & Entertainment, but the name wasn't changed immediately for various reasons, including merchandizing for this season.
The name change will come with a new shoulder patch design on the home and road jerseys, which will be unveiled for the Coyotes' first preseason game, though the jersey as a whole will remain unchanged.
Phoenix Coyotes co-owner, President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc explained the change as follows:
"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."
While it's difficult to believe that something as simple as changing your team name from Phoenix to Arizona will turn the Coyotes into a money making franchise, the reasons for doing so make sense. Appealing to a wider audience is always a good idea.