Land sale key to Arizona Coyotes’ future



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Arizona Coyotes new arena renderings revealed Image: Arizona Coyotes and Gensler

The future of the National Hockey League’s Arizona Coyotes in the State of Arizona could be decided by an upcoming land auction.

Sportsnet said the Arizona State Land Department Board of Appeals unanimously approved the $68.5 million appraisal for a portion of land in Phoenix, where the Coyotes hope to build an arena.

Arizona Coyotes new arena renderings revealedImage: Arizona Coyotes and Gensler

That means the Land Department can sell the land at auction but the date for auction must be advertised for 10 weeks. While an exact date has not been set, that means it could happen in early June.

If the Coyotes aren’t successful in buying the land for the arena, in northeast Phoenix (just inside the city line with Scottsdale), they could be forced to relocate.

Gensler recently released images of what the new venue could look like it gets the go-ahead in Arizona.

Arizona Coyotes new arena renderings revealedImage: Arizona Coyotes and Gensler

Building work could start this summer on the new project, including an arena theater under a SoFi Stadium-like covering and a mixed-use development.

The team’s hopes of building a new arena in Tempe, Arizona fell through in May last year, when the plan was rejected by voters in a referendum.

The Arizona Coyotes are a professional ice hockey team based in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The Coyotes compete in the NHL as a member of the Central Division in the Western Conference and currently play at the Mullett Arena in Tempe.

Arizona Coyotes new arena renderings revealedImage: Arizona Coyotes and Gensler

The Mullett Arena is an indoor multipurpose arena at the Arizona State University. The 5,000-seat arena is the home of the men’s ice hockey, women’s ice hockey, women’s gymnastics, and men’s wrestling teams.

The Coyotes lost their home in Glendale, California – at what was then called the Gila River Arena but now goes by the name – the 18,300-capacity Desert Diamond Arena – at the end of the 2021-2022 NHL seasons. They had called that arena home for 18 years.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said, “We’ve reached a fork in the road for the Arizona Coyotes. I’ve been told multiple times this week, do not underestimate Arizona’s ownership’s willingness to do this and to prove that it can do this.”

Arizona Coyotes new arena renderings revealedImage: Arizona Coyotes and Gensler

“There was an admission that the status quo cannot continue. As a result of that, especially if the Coyotes don’t win the auction, relocation will be on the table.”

The NHL has not had a relocation since the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg in 2011.

Arizona Coyotes new arena renderings revealedImage: Arizona Coyotes and Gensler

Sportsnet further stated that one likely destination for the Coyotes, if relocation is required, would be Salt Lake City where NBA Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith has been very public about his desire to bring an NHL team to his city.

A move to Utah would also allow the Coyotes to stay in the Central Division and maintain regional rivalries with the Avalanche, Golden Knights and the three California teams.

Arizona Coyotes new arena renderings revealedImage: Arizona Coyotes and Gensler

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