The Phoenix Sports Market Is Becoming A Black Hole

Proposed Arizona Coyotes arena

A baseball stadium and a hockey arena are needed.

At one time, the Phoenix, Arizona market had one team, the National Basketball Association’s Suns. Then came the National Football League when Bill Bidwill moved his St. Louis Cardinals franchise to Tempe in 1988. Phoenix had a growing population and was ripe for more major league sports franchises. Phoenix area politicians decided to build a new arena for the Suns franchise and that arena was built for basketball. However, for other events, especially hockey, the arena had bad seats. The National Hockey League’s Winnipeg Jets ownership sold the franchise to a group that put the business in the Phoenix arena where 4,000-seats were unusable because people could not see the goal on the other side of the ice. The team moved to suburban Glendale and had arena issues. The Phoenix hockey arena problem will more than likely be resolved by the end of June with a state land auction being held and if the Arizona Coyotes ownership wins the auction its plans to build an arena-village in Phoenix.

The future of Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks franchise is murky. The Diamondbacks owners have a deal to use the city-owned baseball park through 2027 and the team ownership group wants changes as quickly as possible whether it is a renovated or a new facility entirely. Diamondbacks owners kicked the tires in Las Vegas as a potential home and claim that there could be other areas in the Phoenix market that might build a stadium for them. The Diamondbacks’ stadium situation has been festering for years. Diamondbacks’ owners claim they will put money into a baseball venue, new or renovated. Meanwhile the Diamondbacks’ stadium issue could cloud Major League Baseball’s expansion plans. Once the Oakland and Tampa Bay stadium issues were resolved, MLB was poised to expand but the Oakland and Tampa Bay and now Phoenix issues have not been settled.

The 26-year-old park is outdated in Phoenix.

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