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‘Failure is not an option’ on new arena, says Coyotes owner Barroway

Arizona Coyotes president and CEO Steve Patterson is welcomed by owner Andrew Barroway in a press conference at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz. on July 13, 2017. (Matt Layman/Arizona Sports)
LISTEN: Steve Patterson, Coyotes' President & CEO

GLENDALE, Ariz. — After hiring president and CEO Steve Patterson, Coyotes owner Andrew Barroway insisted that a new arena in the Valley will happen.

“We’re going to get a new stadium here. It’s just a question of when,” Barroway said. “We’re going to make it happen. I think we’ve put the people in place to get it done, I can tell you we are aggressively pursuing all options and we have to make it work. We don’t have a choice.”

Barroway said he didn’t have a definite timeline, but he was succinct when pressed on the issue of getting a new stadium done.

“Failure’s not an option. We have to get it done.”

For years, the Coyotes have been entangled in issues with the city of Glendale over their home there, Gila River Arena. Their current lease in the building — which opened in 2003 — runs through this upcoming 2017-18 NHL season. From there, the future isn’t clear.

Barroway declined to comment on whether he would extend a lease, calling it a “hypothetical.” But his hire of Patterson, who has ties to the Valley as Arizona State University’s former athletic director and has spurred the construction of arenas and stadiums in the past, signals a steadfast effort to find a new home in Arizona.

“He’s built championship teams and organizations and has managed stadiums, ballparks, arenas all across the United States,” Barroway said Thursday in a prepared statement. “Most importantly, he previously worked in our market and has the necessary corporate and political relationships to help us secure a long-term home for the Coyotes in the Valley.”

Arizona Sports’ own Craig Morgan recently gave a detailed report of Patterson’s background and what it could mean for the Coyotes.

“I’ve done a lot of [stadium] projects around a lot of different markets in the country,” Patterson said Thursday. “I think, for us, on a go-forth basis, we’re going to want to talk to everybody in the Valley.”

Patterson’s former employer, ASU, and his current employer, the Arizona Coyotes, seemed to have a deal in place late last year to eventually build an arena to house the Coyotes and Sun Devil Hockey. But later, the university withdrew from that plan.

Patterson said arena and stadium deals can sometimes die six times and be revived seven times before they are actually completed.

“I can remember when it looked like we got turned down in Houston for the NFL … About five and a half months later, we were back in (former NFL commissioner) Paul Tagliabue’s office putting a deal together.”

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