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ASU could be open to sharing new Phoenix arena with Suns, Arizona Coyotes

(Alan Stark/ Wikimedia Commons)
LISTEN: Ray Anderson, ASU athletic director

PHOENIX — While the Arizona Coyotes are talking with various entities about getting out of Glendale, it appears that Arizona State could be looking to get in on the action.

Sun Devils Athletic Director Ray Anderson told Doug and Wolf Thursday Morning as part of Newsmakers Week on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM that they are “exploring a variety of options” that could include a new joint venue with the Coyotes.

“That has given us an opportunity to look at some combinations of basketball, hockey, maybe Olympic sports in one arena, maybe a separate arena, maybe a renovation of Wells Fargo, or a combination thereof,” said Anderson.

A renewed push to bolster ASU’s collegiate hockey program has been a motivator in their discussions with the Coyotes, he said.

Anderson said a possible new downtown Phoenix arena could also be a viable option because of ASU’s growing presence there.

“With a downtown campus, 15-20 minute train ride from our main campus, those are things that you have to think about. You certainly think about them very seriously, so nothing’s off the table,” he said.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said Tuesday that city officials were seriously considering a new downtown Phoenix arena for the Suns and Arizona Coyotes to share.

“We are in active discussions with various entities for a new arena in Phoenix,” Stanton told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Doug and Wolf.

In June of 2015, in the midst of the Coyotes’ legal battle with Glendale, Stanton said the Suns were willing to share their home with the NHL team, if necessary.

At the time, Glendale officials voted to cancel a lease agreement with the hockey team. The dispute was resolved but the club has talked with at least three groups about a new home.

In a shared Phoenix arena, Stanton said the Coyotes would not be an afterthought.

“Talking Stick (then American West Arena) was built at the time … it wasn’t designed to facilitate hockey. We won’t make that mistake twice for an arena in downtown Phoenix.”

Stanton added that eventually any plans for a new Phoenix arena would have to be approved by voters.

“I think it will be an intense debate here in Phoenix for the next few years,” he said.

Coyotes co-owner Antony LeBlanc told Doug and Wolf in January 2016 that decisions should be made public by the end of this season, mentioning ASU as a potential partner.

“We need to partner with a community or institution that wants to be a partner and that’s the first and foremost thing. The good news is that all of the discussions we have had have been pretty open as have other organizations — be it the city of Phoenix or Tempe or Arizona State. Everybody has been pretty open that we have had discussions with and they have all been positive.”

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