Coyotes may temporarily move to 5000 seat ASU arena after NHL turned down Quebec

arizona coyotes
Gila River Arena in Glendale. Gila River Arena

The former home of the Nordiques in Quebec have been lobbying for another NHL franchise for quite some time.

In late November, Premier François Legault told RDS, “I spoke with [Mr. Bettman], and we have meetings with him in the coming months.” That meeting took place about two weeks ago and they were rebuffed by the NHL.

“We explained that, while we were appreciative and flattered by the interest expressed, unfortunately, we were not aware of any opportunity that could address that interest at the current time,” Bettman said in a statement.

The latest news out of Arizona must be frustrating to hear for hockey fans of Quebec.

Coyotes in talks to move to a 5000 seat arena

The Arizona Coyotes and Arizona State are in “advanced” discussions for the NHL club to temporarily play their games at the university’s new multipurpose arena, PHNX Sports reported Thursday.

The Coyotes are being forced from their home in nearby Glendale, and the team is awaiting the go-ahead to build an arena in Tempe.

The Coyotes are in the process of negotiating a three-year deal with an option for a fourth year with Arizona State and arena manager OVG Facilities, per the report.

The new Arizona State arena, expected to open in December, will seat only 5,000 people, but the Coyotes don’t appear to have many options.

Limited options

quebec nordiques
The return of the Nordiques (Chip East/Reuters)

While the arena’s seating capacity falls far below typical NHL capacity, league deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the Arizona State location could be viable on a short-term basis.

“While we have arena standards, we would approach the entire situation in a way intended to accommodate the club’s needs in effectuating a successful transition to a new venue,” Daly wrote in an email to PHNX Sports. “While there may very well be some, I can’t think of any hard and fast rules that couldn’t be relaxed to accommodate what is necessary.”

The NHL Players Association also is likely to have a say in any such move.

The Coyotes have been told they must move out of Gila River Arena in Glendale by June 30. The city chose not to renew the operating agreement with the club.

Maybe the NHL should give Mr. Legault a call?

–Field Level Media contributed to this article