The Arizona Coyotes announced today that the Club’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate will be called the Tucson Roadrunners. The team’s name and logo were revealed by Coyotes’ President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc at an open house event at the Tucson Convention Center.
“We are very proud to name our AHL affiliate the Tucson Roadrunners,” said 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 highly regarded 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.
The Roadrunners name has a rich tradition in the state of Arizona. In 1967, the Phoenix Roadrunners of the Western Hockey League (WHL) became Arizona’s first professional sports team. They played hockey at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. The Roadrunners were the WHL champions in both 1973 and 1974. When the WHL disbanded in 1974, the Roadrunners became a part of the World Hockey Association (WHA), and subsequently the Pacific Hockey League (PHL) until 1979. Ten years later, in 1989, the Roadrunners were back as part of the International Hockey League (IHL) and remained in the Valley until 1997. The Roadrunners returned to Phoenix in 2005 as a member of the ECHL until 2009.
The team selected the name following a two week “Name the Team” contest. Nearly 5,000 fans participated in the campaign. Paul Sheldon was randomly chosen as the winner of the contest and has won two (2) season tickets to the Tucson Roadrunners 2016-17 AHL regular season, a Tucson Roadrunners team jersey, and a 12-person suite to a 2016-17 Arizona Coyotes regular season home game.
The Coyotes also announced today that the team will hold a Red and White intra-squad game on Sunday, October 9 at 1:00 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center. All of the Coyotes NHL players will play in the game along with the team’s AHL players from the Roadrunners. Admission to the game is free but the Coyotes are requesting that all fans donate $5 upon entry into the TCC. All funds collected will be donated to the University of Arizona Wildcats hockey program.
The Tucson Roadrunners will begin the 2016-17 AHL season in October. The AHL’s regular season schedule will be released in August. For ticket information regarding the Roadrunners, please visit www.arizonacoyotes.com/ahl or call 866-415-4695. Fans can also email ticket representatives at [email protected]
About the Roadrunner:
The roadrunner is a long-legged bird from the Southwestern United States and Mexico. The roadrunner walks around rapidly, running down its prey. It feeds mainly on small animals including insects, spiders (including black widows), tarantulas, scorpions, mice, small birds and especially lizards and snakes. Venomous serpents, including rattlesnakes, are readily consumed. The roadrunner kills prey by holding the victim in its bill and slamming it repeatedly against the ground. Although capable of limited flight, it spends most of its time on the ground, and can run at speeds of up to 20 mph. Some Pueblo Indian Tribes believed the roadrunner provided protection against evil spirits.