The Arizona Coyotes were eyeing a piece of state-owned land for a new arena, however, on Friday, the state cancelled a planned auction of the land.

Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo was interested in the 110-acre piece of land in north Phoenix, which was set to go to auction on Thursday. He previously sold everything but the team’s name to Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith as a part of a $1.2 billion deal in April. The land was previously appraised for $68.5 million, and Meruelo was among multiple bidders.

On Friday, the Arizona State Land Department cancelled the auction, suddenly shifting Meruelo’s plans.

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“This unprecedented action by the State of Arizona seriously jeopardizes the future of NHL hockey returning to the desert,” the team said in a statement on X.

The team went on to note that as announced in April, the site was identified as “ideally suited to build a 110-acre mixed use development anchored by a state-of-the-art arena to serve as the home of the Coyotes.” However, less than a week before the scheduled auction, the ASLD “canceled the auction despite the objections of the Coyotes.”

“The organization has worked in good faith with the ASLD and has been on track to win the auction next week until the sudden reversal by ASLD today,” the team continued. “By canceling the land auction, the state is forgoing millions, and potentially billions of dollars that would have gone directly to K-12 education.”

The Coyotes noted that with the investment of this infrastructure, they planned to return over $2 billion to Arizona schools, create permanent construction jobs, and create a new tax base.

“The Arizona Coyotes are exploring all of our legal options given this shortsighted decision by the State,” the team said.

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The Arizona State Land Department told Front Office Sports that the land would require a special permit and bidders would need to complete the application process, which includes what they intent to build on the land.

“We understand the delay in an auction is a disappointment for our applicant and members of the public, but the change in timing is the prudent decision for the Trust,” the land department said. “ASLD remains open to working with our applicant to bring the land forward to auction in the future if a special use permit is received.”