What Happens Next In The Arizona Coyotes Saga?


Coyotes ownership and the NHL are looking for an answer.

As of now, the National Hockey League still has a franchise in Tempe, Arizona and the league is planning to return to a college arena in Tempe for the 2023-24 season. Tempe voters turned down a chance to build an arena-village on May 16th leaving the NHL’s Arizona franchise ownership in limbo. The NHL and the Arizona ownership are reviewing their options but moving a franchise in May for a September season start would require a lot of things that need to happen. The NHL needs to identify a market that wants a franchise, then the league needs to find an owner. Then there would be a need to get corporate marketing partners in a hurry and find a video partner. Then tickets need to be sold.

In the 1990s, the league did move quickly in getting expansion franchises up and running in about nine months in Anaheim and Miami. The league moved Québec City after the 1995 season to Denver and had a little more time in 1996 when it moved the Winnipeg franchise to Phoenix. The Phoenix hockey market was doomed from the day that the Phoenix local government approved an arena in the late 1980s. The building was great for basketball and not very good for hockey and other events. About 4,000 of the seats did not have a full view of the ice. The team ended up in a new arena in Glendale in 2003 and the franchise was virtually thrown out of the arena about a year ago. In 2021, elected officials in Tempe put out a request for proposal to develop a parcel within the city with the National Hockey League team in mind. Arizona ownership was the only group to submit a proposal. Tempe officials wanted a sports and a practice facility on the property. The voters said no thanks.

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