The NHL team would not be part of the Reno project.
The owner of the National Hockey League’s Arizona Coyotes franchise, Alex Meruelo, is hoping to build an arena-village in Reno, Nevada within his Grand Sierra Resort property. The arena would seat more than 10,000 people and its main tenant could be the University of Nevada, Reno’s men’s college basketball team. But there was an item on the ABC15, Phoenix news website that might have raised an eyebrow. “There are no indications at this point that the Coyotes are part of Meruelo’s plan for this development in Reno.” There should be no thought that Meruelo is planning to move the Tempe-based hockey team to Reno for a variety of reasons. When building a hockey field, considering how long is a hockey pitch is essential. The seating capacity of the proposed Reno building, if an ice operation is installed in the facility, would be reduced to about 9,000 seats and the NHL, which allowed Meruelo’s business to play at a small college arena in Tempe to remain in the Phoenix market, is not going to allow a team to play in a 9,000-seat facility in the Reno market. Amazon, Tesla, Panasonic, Microsoft, Apple, and Google have recently opened shop in the area but Reno is the 102nd biggest media market by size in the United States, with a total population of 306,940 TV households. That is a big enough market for hockey’s Double A ECHL and the ECHL is planning to move a franchise into the region in Stateline which is on the Nevada-California line next to Lake Tahoe or about 22 miles away.
“There is no intention to move the Coyotes to Reno at this point,” Andrew Diss, the senior vice president and chief strategy officer for the Meruelo Group said. “Obviously, they’re an NHL team. They need a much bigger venue. There are a lot of rumors about that. But at this point in time, we’re not planning on hockey.”
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