GLENDALE, Ariz., Jan. 29 (UPI) -- The Phoenix Coyotes NHL team will officially change its name to the Arizona Coyotes next season, team co-owner Anthony LeBlanc announced Wednesday.
The franchise has been known as the Phoenix Coyotes since it moved to the state from Winnipeg in 1996, but has not played in the city since 2003 when it moved to its current home, Jobing.com Arena, in Glendale, Ariz.
The city of Glendale requested the name change as it was negotiating lease deals with prospective ownership groups seeking to buy the bankrupt team, which was being operated by the NHL.
LeBlanc and Canadian oilman George Gosbee headed a group that bought the Coyotes last year for $170 million, with financing help from the league.
"We are very excited to announce that our franchise name will change to Arizona Coyotes for the start of the 2014-15 NHL season," LeBlanc said. "Becoming the Arizona Coyotes makes sense for us since we play our games in Glendale and the city is such a great partner of ours."
As part of the name change, the Coyotes will wear a new shoulder patch for their home and road jerseys in 2014-15.