Tempe votes to negotiate with Coyotes on new arena project
TEMPE, Ariz. — The Tempe city council has voted to negotiate with the Arizona Coyotes on a proposed development of nearly $2 billion that would include a new arena for the franchise.
The council voted 5-2 in favor after a seven-hour meeting Thursday night that included comments from more than 100 citizens and the reading of more than 220 written statements.
The Coyotes gave a lengthy presentation for a 46-acre tract of land west of downtown Tempe that would include an arena, hotels, retail, offices and housing. Former Coyotes captain Shane Doan and three current players also spoke during the meeting.
Officials from Sky Harbor Airport expressed concerns about the housing component because the land is 9,800 feet from the end of one of its runways. They did not oppose the arena proposal, but said sound insulation would not be efficient enough with the more 1,000 residential units being directly under the flightpath.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said via video call that he endorsed the plan without reservation, but said a 30-year no-relocation agreement would be required.
The Coyotes had been on an annual lease at Gila River Arena since the city of Glendale voted to terminate a 15-year, $225 million lease agreement in 2015. Glendale decided to not renew the lease after the 2021-22 season and the Coyotes found a temporary home at Arizona State’s new 5,000-seat arena, starting next season.