The Arizona Coyotes announced today they are negotiating to develop land which is part of Arizona State’s Athletic Facilities District which will include a new arena for the NHL franchise and a smaller arena which would be used by Arziona State. ASU’s men’s hockey is currently playing their first full season as an NCAA Division 1 program. The Coyotes arena is expected to seat around 16,000 people making it comparable in size to their current home, Gila River Arena, across town in Glendale.
The almost 60 acre development is to built on the northwest corner of McClintock Drive and Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe on land which is currently part of ASU’s Karsten Golf Course. ASU made it clear the Karsten’s days were numbered when they took over running Phoenix’s Papago golf course back in 2014.
From the team’s press release:
"Over the past year we have been exhaustive in our research regarding the most optimal location for our new home in the Valley," said Coyotes President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc. "While we have tremendous fans all across the greater Phoenix metro area, not to mention the entire state, it became clear that the East Valley is home to a majority of our fans and corporate partners. Our fans in the West Valley have shown us tremendous support over the past 13 years, and we look forward to working with them as we transition to our new home in the future."
Ironically, the proposed new arena site is less than three miles south of the arena location the club, under Steve Ellman’s ownership, originally wanted to build on over a decade and a half ago before Scottsdale nixed the idea. Ellman then looked at alternatives and eventually settled on building his retail complex (Westgate) and arena in Glendale. After the arena plan failed, Scottsdale eventually went a different plan for the former Los Arcos Mall property offered up by you guessed it, Arizona State University.