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Former ASU AD Patterson could play role in new Coyotes arena

FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2013, file photo, University of Texas athletic director Steve Patterson discusses the search for a new head football coach during a news conference in Austin, Texas. A person with direct knowledge of the decision says Texas athletic director Steve Patterson has been fired. The person spoke Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, on condition of anonymity because the school had not announced the move. (AP Photo/Jack Plunkett, File)

A familiar name could play a key role in the Coyotes’ quest for a new arena. Former Arizona State and Texas athletic director Steve Patterson confirmed that he is serving as a consultant for “multiple parties” in the Valley through his company, Pro Sports Consulting. Two separate sources confirmed that Patterson is involved in some capacity with the Coyotes’ search for a new arena.

Patterson declined to offer specifics.

“Lots of different parties are looking at different business opportunities, be they arenas or other opportunities,” Patterson said. “People have approached various locations, whether it be communities or others and they have fielded all sorts of inquiries.”

Patterson confirmed that there have been inquiries made to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, but he stressed that it was interested parties that approached the community about building an arena, rather than the other way around. He also stressed he is not working for the community.

“I have only spent some time talking with parties looking at arena options, but that could happen in a number of places,” he said. “It would be very premature to say we are far down that road (with the tribal community). It really is more about people looking at opportunities.”

Patterson has experience in this area. As senior vice president and chief development officer for the NFL’s Houston Texans (1997-2003), he was responsible for the design, financing and construction of Reliant Stadium (now NRG Stadium) in Houston. He also played a key consulting role in the renovation of Cheney Stadium in Tacoma.

Recent Pro Sports Consulting clients have included the Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Clippers, Mandalay Sports, hockey’s Johnstown Chiefs (ECHL), baseball’s Tacoma Rainiers (PCL), Texas Southern University and ASU.

Patterson served as ASU’s athletic director from 2011-13, before leaving for Texas. He was forced to resign that position in September 2015.

Patterson has also served as the Portland Trail Blazers’ team president (2003-2007), the Houston Aeros’ (American Hockey League) president and general manager (1993-97), and as the GM for the Houston Rockets (1989-93).

Arizona Sports reported on March 28 that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Coyotes President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc had meetings that day in the Valley with key potential stakeholders regarding a new arena in the greater Phoenix area.

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 confirmed Thursday that Bettman and LeBlanc met with officials from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community regarding a proposed location along the 101 corridor.

At a Coyotes town hall meeting on March 26, LeBlanc said he expected to make some sort of arena announcement within the next six weeks.

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