Arizona Coyotes, ASU give tour of under construction shared arena
Arizona State University provided an initial look on Monday at the school’s new multi-purpose arena coming this fall to Tempe that will serve as the Arizona Coyotes’ temporary home.
“Incredible opportunity for us as an organization to be in a brand new facility, state of the art,” Coyotes president and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez said Monday. “And here, in the heart of Tempe, next to an incredible amount of energy, of innovation and of top of mind thought leadership that is happening here on this campus and we were excited to be a part of it.”
The 5,000-seat arena will serve as the Coyotes’ new digs for the next three seasons, with a temporary option for 2025-26 while the franchise awaits the approval and construction of a proposed stadium along the south side of Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe.
That, of course, is a fan capacity about a third of the size to the smallest NHL arena outside Arizona. Gutierrez, however, believes this presents the chance for a unique environment fans can be a part of.
“We absolutely believe this is going to be the best experience in all of the NHL. … It’s going to be intimate, the sightlines are going to be incredible,” he said. “It’s going to be loud, it’s going to be packed. This is the experience that we know our fans, our partners, our players — everyone associated with the Coyotes — are absolutely going to be excited to be a part of and be very proud.”
The new home for Arizona State’s hockey program that has now played six seasons at the Division I level presents a set of NCAA guidelines the Coyotes will have to meet so there is required separation between an NHL organization and college team.
That is a chunk of the Coyotes’ $19.7 million, as noted by the school in a release, that the team will be putting into the arena to make sure the right standards are met for an NHL arena and that ASU doesn’t take anything else on.
“Clearly, it’s also a very large investment that we are making to ensure there is no financial risk that ASU is going to bear,” Gutierrez said. “We want to take all that on and we’re willing to put our investments on the table in order to do so.”
The Coyotes had conversations with the NHL about things like locker rooms and medical facilities, along with space for media, NHL and gameday officials.
“Everything that goes into having gameday operations at the NHL standard, we wanted to make that investment,” Gutierrez said.
The Coyotes have played the last 19 seasons at Gila River Arena in Glendale.
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.