TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — The Roadrunners are staying in Tucson.

The AHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes announced on Tuesday the team will play at least 30 games at Tucson Arena next season, thwarting owner Alex Meruelo’s plans to move the team to Mullett Arena in Tempe.

The Rio Nuevo District’s board of directors voted 9-0 to keep the team in town, pre-empting an expected vote late this week by the AHL’s Board of Governors on a potential move to Tempe.

Meruelo sold the Coyotes last month to Utah Jazz owners Ryan and Ashley Smith, who plan to move the franchise to Salt Lake City next season. As part of the $1.2 billion deal, Meruelo maintained ownership of the Roadrunners and said he had hoped to move the team to Mullett Arena, which had been the Coyotes’ temporary home shared with Arizona State University’s hockey team.

The Roadrunners will likely still play a handful of games at Mullett, but not nearly as many as Meruelo initially planned.


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