The Arizona Coyotes’ Ownership Group Is Playing The Waiting Game

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Arizona Coyotes defenseman Troy Stecher (51) and Coyotes center Alexander Kerfoot (15) celebrate a goal by Coyotes' Michael Carcone against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Coyotes’ ownership is bidding for land in Phoenix.

The National Hockey League is playing the hurry up and wait game in the Phoenix market. The Arizona Coyotes franchise ownership plans to bid on a parcel of land in Phoenix that could house an arena-village. There will be an auction as the Arizona State Land Department Board of Appeals unanimously approved a $68.5 million appraisal of 95 acres of available land in Phoenix. That auction will be held later this spring. The Arizona ownership might get some competition from other suitors. This is the second tract of land that the Arizona ownership has gone after. In 2023, the team ownership figured out that Tempe, Arizona would be a perfect spot to build an arena-village. But Tempe voters said no in a referendum on May 16th, 2023

The Phoenix market has been a problem for the NHL since the team arrived from Winnipeg when the NHL approved the relocation of the Winnipeg Jets franchise to Phoenix in 1996. The franchise moved into the city-owned arena and there was a major problem. About 4,000 seats had obstructed views as the Phoenix building was designed for basketball not hockey. Very quickly the Phoenix hockey team’s ownership realized the arena was not suited for an NHL franchise and started looking for a new venue. Eventually, the ownership settled on Glendale, Arizona as the team’s future home. The team started play in Glendale in 2003 but various ownership groups had financial problems and the franchise went insolvent in 2009. Jim Balsillie attempted to buy the team and move it to Hamilton, Ontario but the league blocked the sale.  On August 19th, 2021, the city of Glendale chose to not renew its arena operating agreement with the Arizona ownership beyond the 2021–22 season. The team ownership signed a deal with Arizona State University to use the school’s 5,000-seat arena. By late spring, the Phoenix problem could be solved.

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