ARIZONA COYOTES

NHL’s Bettman: Suns have no interest sharing arena with Coyotes

Feb 5, 2022, 5:45 AM
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a pregame ceremony to honor Shane Doan and retire his j...
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a pregame ceremony to honor Shane Doan and retire his jersey at Gila River Arena on February 24, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Friday praised Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo’s plan of temporarily playing at ASU’s new multipurpose facility while the team waits for its new arena in Tempe.

ASU’s new 5,000-seat arena is scheduled to be completed this fall and would host Coyotes home games while the team awaits the approval and construction of the pro hockey team’s proposed stadium along the south side of Rio Salado Parkway.

And in the midst of his praises during All-Star weekend media day, Bettman gave an update as to whether or not there could be a possible temporary return to Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix.

“We think [a new arena in Tempe] will completely change the current fortunes of the club,” he told reporters. “So what do you do in the interim? Glendale has shut them out.

“The Phoenix Suns have apparently no interest in sharing their building even on a temporary basis with the Coyotes. My guess is that they would prefer that the Coyotes leave town.”

The Coyotes shared a stadium with the Suns from 1996-2003 after the team moved from Winnipeg and have been at the 18,000-seat Gila River Arena for the last 19 seasons.

However, the city of Glendale and Gila River Arena manager ASM Global told the Coyotes last year that the team must leave the venue when the fiscal year ends on June 30.

“There are a lot of hockey fans and the team has built a good fan base. And with the right arena, situation, they will be great,” Bettman said. “And at the end of the day, if there has to be a temporary accommodation … I think they can create a terrific experience for people in a more intimate setting. And it wouldn’t be the first time that we were in a smaller facility pending the construction of a new arena.

“This is good market. This has been a franchise that has had its challenges, some of which are beyond its control. As long as there is a commitment and forthcoming for a new building, then it’s going to be worth sticking with it.”

Penguin Air

Arizona Coyotes

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper celebrates after the Avalanche defeated the Tampa Bay L...
Nikash Nath

Coyotes awarded 2024 3rd-round pick from Darcy Kuemper trade

Darcy Kuemper was traded to Colorado in July 2021 for a package including a conditional 2024 third-round draft pick that is now Arizona's.
24 hours ago
Fans watch as the Arizona Coyotes warm up before the NHL game against the Nashville Predators at Gi...
Character Counts

Arizona Coyotes Foundation’s 2022-23 grant cycle to open July 1

The Arizona Coyotes Foundation announced that the 2022-23 grant cycle will open from July 1 and run through Aug. 1.
8 days ago
National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly announces the Arizona Coyotes #3 overall draft...
Arizona Sports

Here’s where the Arizona Coyotes pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft

The 2022 NHL Entry Draft is set to be a big one for the Coyotes, having seven selections in the draft's top 45 picks.
24 hours ago
Logan Cooley speaks at the Top Prospects Media Availability at the NHL Scouting Combine at HarborCe...
Sam Graveline

Coyotes nab F Logan Cooley in Bleacher Report’s latest NHL mock draft

Bleacher Report's Lyle Richardson has the Coyotes taking American center Logan Cooley with the No. 3 overall pick in his latest mock draft.
10 days ago
President, CEO & Alternate Governor Xavier A. Gutierrez (Photo by Kelsey Grant/NHLI via Getty I...
Arizona Sports

Coyotes hope to agree with Tempe on arena plan by end of year

Arizona Coyotes CEO and president Xavier Gutierrez said an ideal timeline to get an agreement on a new arena would be by the end of 2022.
14 days ago
(Twitter Photo/@NHL_On_TNT)...
Jake Anderson

Paul Bissonnette gets new haircut after losing bet on Stanley Cup Playoffs

Former Coyotes player and current analyst Paul Bissonnette paid up after losing a Stanley Cup Playoffs bet with an interesting haircut.
21 days ago
NHL’s Bettman: Suns have no interest sharing arena with Coyotes