Arizona State University pulls out of Arizona Coyotes arena deal
PHOENIX — Arizona State University has pulled out of a deal that would have brought the Arizona Coyotes to Tempe.
University officials said on Friday to Arizona Republic that the school “has no intention of proceeding to sign a development agreement or an option to lease or any other agreement with the Coyotes.”
Coyotes’ President Anthony LeBlanc confirmed the report in a statement, saying that “it appears the ASU deal will not be moving forward.”
“Nevertheless, the Coyotes are committed to the Valley for the long term, and we will continue to explore other options that will ensure a successful future for the team and our fans, LeBlanc continued. “We intend to do everything we can to keep NHL hockey here in Arizona.”
The university did not give a reason for pulling out of the deal on Friday.
In November, the university and the hockey team announced a plan to construct a 16,000-plus seat arena near McClintock Drive and Rio Salado Parkway.
Both sides entered an “exclusive negotiation agreement” with the university’s athletic facilities district developer Catellus Development Corp. But sources at the time stressed the move was not an agreement to build an arena on the site.
Currently, the Coyotes play out of Gila River Arena in Glendale, but their future in the arena came to a screeching halt when the city cancelled its lease agreement with the team in 2015.
In October, Arizona Sports reported that private developers were exploring the idea of building a 20,000-seat multi-purpose event center south of the Scottsdale Pavilions and west of the 101 that could potentially house the Coyotes.
Arizona Sports’ Craig Morgan contributed to this report.