ARIZONA COYOTES

Sources: Gary Bettman, Coyotes met with Valley officials to discuss new arena

Mar 28, 2016, 7:39 PM | Updated: 8:54 pm

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman answers a question during a news conference before the NHL All-Star h...

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman answers a question during a news conference before the NHL All-Star hockey game skills competition, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Coyotes President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc had meetings Monday in the Valley with key potential stakeholders regarding a new arena in the greater Phoenix area, multiple sources confirmed to Arizona Sports.

Bettman and LeBlanc met with state leadership, officials from Arizona State University and officials from the City of Phoenix, including Mayor Greg Stanton.

Arizona Sports could not confirm whether Bettman and LeBlanc met with officials from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community regarding a proposed location along the 101 corridor, though Bettman did tell Arizona Sports recently that the league has no face-value objections to the idea of an NHL arena on tribal lands.

At Saturday’s Coyotes town hall meeting, LeBlanc said he expects to make some sort of arena announcement within the next six weeks, although if the Coyotes need to extend the timeline a bit, it shouldn’t pose any problems.

A more concrete deadline for the Coyotes might be to make an announcement before the fiscal year expires on June 30 and free agency begins on July 1. Corporate sponsors would likely want clarity heading into the new fiscal year, as would free agents.

The Coyotes two-year lease at Gila River Arena expires after next season. The City of Glendale voided the original 15-year agreement last summer.

When asked at the town hall meeting about the possibility of staying in Glendale long-term, LeBlanc said: “I will never say never, but it’s highly, highly unlikely.”

Multiple reports have cited an ASU location on Karsten Golf Course, a downtown location near Talking Stick Resort Arena, the 101 location and even a Mesa location near the Chicago Cubs’ spring training facility as potential sites for a new arena. Depending on the location, the building could also house the Suns and ASU sports, including the Sun Devils’ fledgling Division I hockey team.

Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter

Arizona Coyotes

Goaltender Connor Ingram...

Associated Press

Utah’s NHL team may use placeholder name for 1st season after move from Arizona

The NHL team moving from Arizona to Salt Lake City will be known as Utah, at least initially, until a long-term name is determined.

11 hours ago

Tucson Roadrunners...

Alex Weiner

Mullett Arena? Stay in Tucson? Plan for the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate Roadrunners remains unclear

The path forward for the Tucson Roadrunners, the AHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes, remains unclear under owner Alex Meruelo.

2 days ago

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a press conference at Hyatt Regency Phoenix...

Kevin Zimmerman

Gary Bettman, Alex Meruelo blame Tempe voters for Coyotes’ relocation

Gary Bettman and Alex Meruelo are still stuck on a failed Tempe vote on an Arizona Coyotes arena project rather than any missteps.

2 days ago

Gary Bettman and Alex Mereulo speaking with Media in a press conference....

Bailey Leasure

‘We shall return:’ Gary Bettman remains committed to Arizona despite relocation to Utah

Gary Bettman remains supportive of NHL hockey in Arizona and Alex Meruelo despite the hockey team moving to Utah.

2 days ago

Alex Meruelo joins Burns & Gambo to discuss Coyotes move to Utah....

Bailey Leasure

Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo says selling Coyotes is something ‘I tried at every cost to avoid’

Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo joined 'Burns and Gambo' as he talked about the news of the sale and relocation of the team to Utah.

2 days ago

Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo joins Burns & Gambo in studio after team is sold to Utah group o...

Damon Allred

Alex Meruelo: ‘I am the only one’ to bring hockey back to Arizona

Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo believes in actions, not words so he wants Arizona hockey fans focused on the June 27 land auction.

3 days ago

Sources: Gary Bettman, Coyotes met with Valley officials to discuss new arena