Ortega pour cold water on Coyotes’ home plans


Arizona Coyotes will go ahead with new arena plans Image: Arizona Coyotes and Gensler

The National Hockey League (NHL) team Arizona Coyotes’ quest for a new arena has encountered a significant hurdle as the Scottsdale (Arizona, US) Mayor David Ortega has declared a setback in the form of an insurmountable water issue.

‘msn.com’ stated that the Coyotes, who currently play their home games at the 4,600-capacity Mullett Arena, have been vocal about their plans to build a new stadium.

The Arizona Coyotes are a professional ice hockey team based in the Phoenix (US) metropolitan area. The Coyotes compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Central Division in the Western Conference and play at the Mullett Arena in Tempe, Arizona.

The Mullett Arena is an indoor multipurpose arena at the Arizona State University (a public research university in the Phoenix metropolitan area) in Tempe, Arizona. The 4,600–seat arena is the home of the men’s ice hockey, women’s ice hockey, women’s gymnastics, women’s volleyball, and men’s wrestling teams.

‘msn.com’ further stated that the ownership had reportedly been eying a 95-acre State-owned plot for the proposed new arena which would be non-taxpayer funded.

However, Ortega’s recent remarks have now cast a huge shadow of uncertainty over the plans. In a strongly-worded statement, Ortega lashed out at the Coyotes’ plans to purchase State-owned land – “The prospect of a rookie developer attempting to buy the Arizona State Trust Land with absolutely no infrastructure on the Phoenix side of the 101/Scottsdale Road intersection at the doorstep of Scottsdale is not feasible, or welcome.”

The proposed arena site, located near Scottsdale Road and Loop 101, seemed promising for the NHL franchise, but the lack of “water assets” in Scottsdale has cast a shadow over the project’s feasibility.

Ortega’s statement further read, “The bare Arizona State Trust Land at the edge of Phoenix has no frontage roads and water and sewer lie miles away to the West.”

Ortega further went on to note that while he is not against the idea of the new arena altogether, the Coyotes must look further West for a new plot of land – “I admire the hockey sport, Arizona Coyotes community involvement and phenomenal youth clubs at the Scottsdale Ice Den… As it stands today, the fantasy hockey project must move West, away from Scottsdale.”

New York (US)-based the National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional ice hockey league in North America comprising 32 teams – 25 in the United States and 7 in Canada. The Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, is awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season.

With the proposed arena site no longer viable in Scottsdale, it’ll be interesting to see what alternatives are pursued.

The Arizona Coyotes have been without a permanent home for a while now. Ever since being evicted from the 20,000-capacity Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, in 2022 following a lease dispute, the team has been sharing the Mullett Arena situated at the Arizona State University.

The Coyotes’ ownership has been plotting to move to a brand new state-of-the-art stadium for a while now.

Recently, the Arizona Coyotes Chairman Alex Meruelo and team head honcho Xavier Gutierre floated the team’s plan of building Arizona’s first privately-funded sports arena and entertainment district costing roughly $3 billion.

The new arena would reportedly seat up to 17,000 fans for its NHL games while adding another 1,500 temporary seats for non-hockey events.

The multipurpose arena is also proposed to have a 150,000-square-foot practice facility and a 3,000-seat live music theater. The Arizona Coyotes ownership group noted that they would install $100 million worth of infrastructure improvements for the new facility.

The plan was that the proposed $3 billion project will be developed on 110 acres of State-owned land at the Northwest corner of Scottsdale Road and Loop 101 in Phoenix.

But with the Scottsdale Mayor Ortega pointing out insurmountable water issue the Coyotes’ home plans in Phoenix has hit a major roadblock.

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