Hope in the desert as Arizona Coyotes begin negotiations with Tempe

Arizona Coyotes tempe
Oct 14, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; The Arizona Coyotes logo is reflected on the ice prior to the game against the Boston Bruins at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Coyotes and their fans are feeling hopeful after a marathon special meeting with the Tempe City Council voting 5-2 to begin negotiations on a new arena.

“We are extremely pleased that the Tempe City Council has voted to proceed with negotiations on development of the Tempe Entertainment District,” said the Arizona Coyotes in a statement. “Having heard all the facts, they have recognized the incredible opportunity that this project presents – not only for the Coyotes but also for the City of Tempe. We look forward to taking the next steps to turn this exciting vision into a reality.”

This is a huge first step for the Arizona Coyotes, who are already committed to ASU Arena for the next three years after being evicted from the Gilda River Arena by the Glendale City Council.

Back in February, the Arizona Board of Regents approved a plan to add NHL-quality facilities to a new ASU arena in Tempe, which holds only 5,000 seats. These upgrades reportedly will require removing as many as 1,500 seats from the arena, originally designed for the Arizona State hockey team.

Shane Doan is the face of the Arizona Coyotes franchise retiring in 2017 as the franchise’s all-time leader in games played (1,540), goals (402), assists (570), points (972), power-play goals (128) and game-winning goals (69).

“The people need to feel the right to come out to say what they want to say,” said Doan, who’s a veteran of these meeting in Arizona. “I don’t want to do anymore of these. I want this to be over and get this going in the right direction. We want to work with the City and answer their questions and the people’s questions too. We want this to be a building and a development for everybody.”

If everything goes as planned, the proposal would not only include a new home for the Yotes but also hotels, condos, stores, and more.

The unspoken benefits of having a state-of-the-art new facility would be to attract free agents to the desert.

Hey did you know that Arizona native and current Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews is a UFA in 2024-25? What a coincidence.