On the latest episode of La Previa, hosts Asli Pelit and Boris Gartner talk to Xavier Gutierrez, the CEO and president of the National Hockey League’s Arizona Coyotes.
Gutierrez is the first Latino president in the NHL. After more than 25 years as a business executive, investor and dealmaker, Gutierrez joined the Coyotes in 2020. Previously, Gutierrez worked as the president and chief investment officer of Meruelo Investment Partners, the investment firm of Cuban American businessman Alex Meruelo.
Meruelo bought a majority stake in the Coyotes in June 2019 from Andrew Barroway, becoming the first Latino owner in the NHL. Sportico values the team at $465 million.
Pelit and Gartner talk to Gutierrez about his decision to move from a successful career in finance to sports, his commitment to making an impact in the community, and the future of sports media.
Gutierrez says his goal is to create a community and bring more Latino fans to the ice rink, especially once the team starts playing at a new arena. The project still needs approval from the city officials. “I saw how a Latino community became hockey fans in Los Angeles because of the Kings,” he said. “But I was surprised to find out that only 5% of season ticket holders are Latinos. Our goal is to ensure the Coyotes will have at least 20% of season ticket holders among the community in Maricopa when we open the arena.”
The hosts and Gutierrez also discuss the future of regional sports networks (RSNs). Gutierrez believes that while some RSNs, like YES network and MSG, are here to stay, RSNs in smaller cities face challenges. “One thing is for sure, there will be changes to the landscape,” Gutierrez said. “I won’t be surprised if we go back to broadcast days again.”
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