After a news report indicated potential ownership changes for the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Coyotes, the Suns are refuting the idea that they are for sale.
On Thursday, Sportsnet reporter John Shannon gave an interview with KJZZ in which he discussed the ownership situations of both the Suns and Coyotes. He said that Suns owner Robert Sarver has “quietly” put the franchise on the block, and that the Coyotes are expected to see a change in majority ownership next month.
After those comments, however, the Suns quickly refuted the idea that Sarver had put the franchise on the market. As for the Coyotes, owner Andrew Barroway has been seeking new investors, but a separate report from the The Athletic indicated that an ownership change for the franchise is not imminent. More from ABC15:
“Very quietly, Robert Sarver has put the Suns up for sale,” Shannon said. Shannon then speculated that a change in ownership could lead to the Suns and Coyotes sharing an arena, something they haven’t done since the late 1990s when they shared what is now called Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix.
Shannon also told KJZZ that Coyotes owner Andrew Barroway is set to sell a majority stake in the franchise by the NHL’s board of governors meeting in June, and he will remaining a minority investor with the team.
The Suns, however, told ABC15 that Shannon’s report is “100 percent false.” On Twitter, Suns president and CEO Jason Rowley said, “Might want to rethink your ‘impeccable sources,'” adding the hashtag #nocredibility.
The Coyotes declined comment on Shannon’s report. The Athletic’s Craig Morgan, however, said a league-wide vote this summer on a Coyotes ownership change is “conceivable,” but a change of owners is not imminent. Morgan added any deal would include keeping the team in Arizona.
Both franchises either recently have dealt with or continue to deal with challenging facility situations. In the case of the Suns, an agreement approved by the Phoenix City Council earlier this year will lead to a $230 million renovation of Talking Stick Resort Arena. Aside from an upgraded arena, near-term priorities for the Suns include improving their team after a few down seasons and constructing a new practice facility in Phoenix.
The Coyotes, meanwhile, have been seeking a new arena elsewhere–primarily Phoenix or East Valley–citing the need for a better economic situation than what the organization currently has at Glendale’s Gila River Arena. No plans for a new arena have moved forward thus far, though the organization has maintained that it wants to remain in Arizona.