We have a name for the new AHL Tucson team launching play this fall: the Tucson Roadrunners, bringing back one of the great team names of all time in professional hockey.
The Phoenix Roadrunners, of course, were a mainstay in several pro circuits, including the Western Hockey League (1967–1974), World Hockey Association (1974–1977), International Hockey League (1989–1997) and ECHL (2005–2009). The old ECHL team was owned by the then-Phoenix Coyotes, so reviving the team name for the new Tucson team owned by the Arizona Coyotes makes sense.
The new Tucson Roadrunners — the old Springfield Falcons — will open AHL play this fall at an upgraded Tucson Convention Center arena. The Coyotes join five other West Coast NHL teams in bringing their AHL affiliates closer to home.
“We are very proud to name our AHL affiliate the Tucson Roadrunners,” said Coyotes’ President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc. “The Tucson Roadrunners will build on the great traditions of hockey in Arizona dating back to 1967. Roadrunners was the overwhelming fan favorite during our ‘Name the Team’ contest, and we thank the thousands of fans who helped us select a great name that creates a strong connection to the City of Tucson, reflects our state pride, and extends the reach of the Coyotes brand.”
The Tucson Roadrunners’ primary logo features design elements that convey a new brand personality for the AHL team while maintaining a connection with the Arizona Coyotes logo. The Roadrunners logo features a fierce bird that is ready for game action, wearing a hockey uniform, skates and carrying a hockey stick. The hockey sweater on the roadrunner includes the flag of Arizona (in Coyotes colors) which is also used by the Coyotes as a shoulder patch on the team’s jerseys. The roadrunner’s head, tail, gloves and striping on his jersey, pants and socks are all copper in reference to Arizona’s nickname “Copper State,” which celebrates the fabulous mineral wealth in Tucson and Arizona. While today the Tucson Mountains are largely protected within the confines of the Saguaro National Park and the Tucson Mountain Park, they once were mined extensively for copper, gold, silver, lead and other metallic elements. The Coyotes colors of Brick Red, Desert Sand and black embody the logo, along with copper, and reflect the symmetry between the Coyotes and the Roadrunners teams. The Coyotes’ Creative Services department designed the logo.