ARIZONA NEWS

Tempe voters to determine fate of Arizona Coyotes arena project

May 16, 2023, 6:27 AM

(Arizona Coyotes Rendering)...

(Arizona Coyotes Rendering)

(Arizona Coyotes Rendering)

The Arizona Coyotes are about to learn the fate of a proposed entertainment district that would include a new home for the team, which has crisscrossed the city searching for a permanent place to play.

Residents in Tempe are voting on a referendum Tuesday that will determine whether plans for the $2.3 billion Tempe Entertainment District will move forward.

The vote is taking place after the city of Phoenix and Sky Harbor International Airport expressed concerns about the residences that would be built as part of the project in the high-noise area under the airport’s flight path.

If the arena is built, the Coyotes would finally be able to settle down after playing in three different venues since moving to Arizona.

The franchise shared a downtown Phoenix arena with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns after relocating from Winnipeg in 1996 then moved to Glendale’s Gila River Arena in 2003. But the Coyotes’ had a troubled tenure in the Phoenix suburb.

Then-owner Jerry Moyes took the Coyotes into bankruptcy in 2009 and Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie put in a bid to purchase the team with the intention of moving it to Hamilton, Ontario. The NHL, wanting to keep the team in Arizona, put in a counter bid and a Phoenix judge ruled the team could not be sold to Balsillie to circumvent the NHL’s relocation rules.

The NHL ran the Coyotes for four seasons and the financial constraints took a toll, leading in part to a seven-year playoff drought.

A new ownership group brought new hope in 2013 but turmoil surfaced again in 2015, when the city of Glendale backed out of a long-term, multimillion-dollar lease agreement. The Coyotes then leased Gila River Arena on an annual basis until Glendale announced it was terminating the deal after the 2021-22 season.

The franchise found a temporary solution, working out a deal to share Arizona State’s Mullett Arena for three seasons. The Mullett has a capacity of 5,000 and is by far the smallest home arena in the NHL.

The Coyotes submitted a bid to buy a tract of land in Tempe and the Tempe City Council voted to begin negotiating on a new entertainment district. The City Council later voted to send the project to a public vote.

The Coyotes thought they were in good standing with the city of Phoenix and Sky Harbor before a legal filing in March sought to rescind Tempe’s recent zoning and land-use changes. It also asked to prohibit future residential considerations in an area the FAA says is incompatible with residential development due to its positioning under Sky Harbor flight paths.

The Coyotes countered by filing a $2.3 billion notice of claim against the city of Phoenix for alleged breach of contract.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Rudy Giuliani...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani is the final defendant to serve indictment in Arizona fake elector case

Rudy Giuliani has been served an indictment in Arizona's fake elector case for his role in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

6 hours ago

Arizona woman sentenced for mail fraud...

Nick Borgia

Green Valley woman sentenced to prison for defrauding elderly clients

A Green Valley insurance agent was sentenced to 21 months in prison on Tuesday for mail fraud, according to a press release.

8 hours ago

Fire breaks out in home where man accused of shooting his baby...

KTAR.com

Suspect identified in Surprise police standoff case that involved baby shooting and house fire

A man was accused of shooting his baby in a Surprise residence he broke into on Friday. A fire later broke out in the house, officials said.

9 hours ago

north mountain brush fire...

Nick Borgia

Firefighters achieve fire control on brush fire near North Mountain in Phoenix

Firefighters have achieved fire control on a brush fire near 7th Street and Thunderbird Road, authorities said Saturday.

10 hours ago

vista-verde-fire...

Nick Borgia

Fire crews responding to wildfire near Vista Verde in Tonto National Forest

Fire crews are responding to a wildfire near Vista Verde, north of Dynamite Boulevard and 136th Street on the Cave Creek Ranger District.

11 hours ago

David Pagniano....

KTAR.com

Man sentenced to life in prison for burying wife alive in grave north of Prescott

A man from Prescott was sentenced to life in prison earlier this month for burying his wife alive in a grave north of Prescott.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Tempe voters to determine fate of Arizona Coyotes arena project