ARIZONA COYOTES

Arizona Coyotes await key June 2 Tempe City Council vote on arena

May 26, 2022, 8:35 AM
Rendering courtesy Arizona Coyotes Rendering courtesy Arizona Coyotes Rendering courtesy Arizona Coyotes Rendering courtesy Arizona Coyotes Rendering courtesy Arizona Coyotes Rendering courtesy Arizona Coyotes Rendering courtesy Arizona Coyotes

The Tempe City Council will vote June 2 on whether to move into a negotiating phase with the Arizona Coyotes and its developers of a proposed entertainment district that would be home to the NHL team’s new arena.

A “yes” vote would not cement the Coyotes’ arena at the location on Priest Drive and Rio Salado Parkway. It would, however, enter a long negotiating period indicating the city wants to move forward with planning a hockey arena, as well as hotels, offices, and retail and residential spaces.

But a “no” vote would mean Tempe declined the plans from the Coyotes and Bluebird Development, LLC. The city council “could choose after this to issue a new call for proposals at this location,” according to Tempe’s press release from Wednesday.

“Final decisions on this developer’s ideas are not happening June 2. This is about whether the Council wants to talk more about the group’s ideas or not,” Tempe city manager Andrew Ching said in the release.

“We wanted to provide ample notice to community members about this meeting so they can learn more and make plans to provide input if they choose.”

The city has been analyzing the Coyotes’ proposed arena and entertainment district plans submitted on Sept. 2, 2021.

In April, the city council asked its Tempe staffers to “seek clarifications from the project proposer on a number of matters.” Now, the city feels it has answered those questions well enough to go forward with a vote.

If the city council votes to move into a formal negotiation phase, it said it could take “several months” before the plans are approved. Public input via open meetings would be an important part of that process.

The Coyotes ended their 19-year run at Glendale’s Gila River Arena with their 2021-22 season and will move into a temporary home at Arizona State University’s new multi-purpose arena for the next few years.

All of the Coyotes’ home games from 2022-23 through 2024-25 will take place in Tempe, with an additional option for 2025-26, while the NHL club awaits the approval and construction of a proposed home along the south side of Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe.

The 5,000-seat arena is scheduled to be completed early this fall.

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