Coyotes and Arizona State University arena deal mentions team owner

The Coyotes never seem to get away from their many critics and opponents, who had a field day Tuesday when a report emerged saying they would not be allowed to alter the appearance of the ice surface in their future home, including the Arizona State logo for the Sun Devil hockey team, on game broadcasts.

This clause in the site license agreement between ASU and the school’s multi-purpose arena manager, OVG facilities and Coyotes ownership reads: “The licensee ((the Coyotes) shall be obligated to use reasonable efforts to include references to the arena in all television or radio advertisements for each Coyotes Home Game and Licensee shall not make or authorize any video or broadcast in which the name of the arena on the ice is modified or hidden.”

But that language was twisted on social media, including by other outlets, to claim the Coyotes would not be allowed to paint their logo on the ice for their games and only ASU would be seen. On Wednesday, the school confirmed that was not the case, and both logos will be painted on the ice at the multi-purpose arena.

According to ASU, the Coyotes and ASU logos will be at center ice, but the Coyotes are prohibited from including any of their other normal on-ice markings, as seen at Gila River Arena, their old house. They are also restricted from digitally covering the ASU logo on their broadcasts.

Construction continues on the new on-campus arena, including modifications the Coyotes have agreed to pay for, including NHL-compliant locker rooms and other team facilities. The 5,000-seat arena is expected to be completed in October with the modifications in December this year.

The Coyotes will use the ASU arena for the next three NHL seasons, with a potential one-season extension if both sides agree. The Coyotes will play 41 regular season games per season at ASU Arena, plus all postseason games. ASU retains scheduling priority for all ASU events, such as its hockey team.

The total value to ASU of the Coyotes deal is estimated to be around $2 million per year.

Another clause of the agreement has raised eyebrows. Labeled “Adverse Reputational Events; Non-Disparagement,” it states that if, during the three-year deal between ASU and majority owner of the Coyotes, Alex Meruelo is the subject of bad publicity, d ‘contempt, scandal or ridicule (via information from reputable media) for “violation of widely held principles of public morality, failure to conduct one’s affairs with a high degree of integrity and honesty and/or failure to act as a corporate citizen”, ASU and OVG Facilities may terminate the Agreement.

Meruelo is also prohibited from making oral or written statements that disparage ASU or OVG facilities and present them falsely and negatively.

The Coyotes declined to comment on the terms of the contract. But such language is standard in a contract of this nature, according to ASU, even if it is not typical of contracts involving an NHL team.

Contact Jose Romero at [email protected] Find him on Twitter at @RomeroJoseM.