The Arizona Coyotes have submitted a hefty $1.7 billion proposal for a new development in Tempe that would include a new arena for the NHL team.
The Coyotes are in a year-to-year lease to play at Gila River Arena in Glendale, but the Glendale City Council has announced that they will not renew an agreement with the team after the upcoming 2021-22 season.
Team owner Alex Meruelo has indicated his intention to keep the Coyotes in Arizona, and the $1.7 billion proposal is the result of the efforts by a committee he put together nearly a year ago to locate a new home. The plan targets a 46-acre plot of land near downtown in Tempe, and Meruelo has made an offer on that land, which is currently vacant.
The proposal calls for an arena, restaurants, retail, and residential units in downtown Tempe. According to the team, the cost of the development would be paid by private investors, but there would be a request to receive a tax break from the city that would offset $200 million of the tab earmarked for infrastructure.
The city of Tempe has not yet scheduled a hearing or made an announcement on the proposal or the offer by the Coyotes to purchase land in the city.
The Coyotes in Arizona
The Coyotes relocated to Phoenix prior to the 1996-97 season after previously playing in Winnipeg as the Winnipeg Jets. They enjoyed moderate success, posting a winning record in each of their first six seasons in Arizona.
Prior to the 2014-15 NHL season, the team announced a name change to Arizona Coyotes to reflect the fact that they no longer played in Phoenix. The team moved to Glendale’s Gila River Arena in 2003 and have played there since.
For the 2021-22 season, the Coyotes have revealed that they will return to using their Kachina logo as the primary team logo for most games. The Kachina, an ancestral spirit of the Pueblo Indians, was popular with fans, and also signified a commitment by the franchise to connect to the diverse communities in the state.
On September 9, sports betting was launched in Arizona, which allows fans to wager on the NHL and other sports legally. The Coyotes will open their season on October 14 at Columbus. Their first home game will be played October 18 against the St. Louis Blues.
The Coyotes were granted a sports betting license, but have yet to announce a partnership with a sportsbook.