Arizona Coyotes search for a home leads to bid for new arena in Tempe
City of Glendale manager, Kevin Phelps told the Arizona Coyotes last month they will need to find a new home after the 2021-22 season. “The decision to not renew was not made overnight or in a vacuum,” Phelps explained why the City would not renew the lease.
The move came after months of stalled negotiations between the city and the club on terms of an extension, agreement on renovations and delinquent payments by the Coyotes.
Now, the next home of the Arizona Coyotes could be Tempe, Arizona.
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Coyotes submit bid for land in Tempe
The Coyotes submitted a bid for two parcels of land in Tempe, near the campus of Arizona State University. They are looking for a new, permanent home after another city in the Phoenix metro area, Glendale, announced it would terminate its lease with the team for Gila River Arena following the 2021-22 season.
“We are pleased to have submitted a proposal to the City of Tempe,” the Coyotes said in a statement. “As regulations surrounding the RFP process dictate, we cannot comment any further at this time, but we remain incredibly excited about this extraordinary opportunity.”
Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo promised in 2019 to keep the Coyotes in Arizona. Formerly known as the Phoenix Coyotes, the franchise has been located in the Phoenix area since 1996, when it rebranded from the Winnipeg Jets and moved to the desert.
The Coyotes have played at Gila River Arena since 2003.
The club has to vacate the arena by June 30, 2022.
Bettman still sees future in Arizona
In March, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said that Glendale is “not economically capable of supporting an NHL franchise.” In a letter to the Arizona legislature, Bettman said the Coyotes “cannot and will not remain in Glendale.”
Bettman was writing in support of public-private funding for a new arena in Phoenix or the East Valley.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman just now on @CartonRoberts on the #Yotes/Glendale news: “I don’t think the franchise is going anywhere. I think the city is just negotiating. I’m not worried. I think their future stays in the Greater Phoenix area.” @KatieJStrang @BizNasty2point0— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) August 19, 2021
–Field Level Media contributed to this report