TEMPE, AZ – As the Arizona Coyotes settle into their temporary home at Arizona State University’s Multi-Purpose Arena, the team has found the process so far to be less than ideal, and to make matters worse, is now without their lunch.
“We’ve barely moved in, and people are already stealing our food from the arena common room kitchen,” Arizona Coyotes Owner Alex Meruelo said, unpacking boxes from a U-Haul truck. “My name was clearly written on the paper bag. I had leftover Papa John’s, so that pisses me off even more.”
Reports emerged last week surrounding the details of the Coyotes' agreement to play next season at the 5,000-seat, unnamed arena, revealing restrictions on team branding at center ice and around the arena.
“This whole situation is crazy,” Meruelo said. “We can’t touch anything in the arena. ASU has claimed everything! They left a bunch of discarded kegs and broken condoms in what is supposed to be our dressing room next season.”
The Coyotes will play at ASU’s arena for three seasons with an optional fourth season, as plans for a new professional arena for the team have not been approved by the city of Tempe.
“I thought moving back to a school setting would be exciting,” Meruelo said. “But it’s hard to keep your cool when one of the corridors was flooded with soap and water for people to use as one big Slip n’ Slide.”
The university has been firm in its dealings with the Coyotes, with one clause of the agreement, the “Adverse Reputational Events; Non-Disparagement” allowing ASU to terminate their agreement if the Coyotes bring negative press to the school.
“How do they expect us to be a ‘good corporate citizen’ when we moved into the arena during a ‘prank war’ with another school.” Meruelo said “Our poor mascot, Howler, was kidnapped by a rival school. We found him the next morning, hanging from a flagpole in the quad by his underwear. I don’t know how much longer I can take this. We need our own place!”
At the time of publication, Meruelo’s Papa John’s had still yet to be recovered.
End of the Bench will have more as this story develops.