The fate of the hockey team could be decided today.
The Arizona Coyotes National Hockey League franchise is playing its most important game of the season. The hockey team will learn whether the Tempe City Council wants to enter negotiations with the business’s ownership group that could result in an arena village built in the city. If Tempe elected officials give the go ahead to begin negotiations with the team’s management, that would start the clock on the talks and there would be public meetings so voices in the community could be heard. If there is a “no” vote then the team would have to look at moving somewhere else. The council then could seek more proposals to develop the city-owned land.
In 2021, elected officials in Tempe put out a Request For Proposal to develop a parcel within the city with the NHL team in mind. Arizona ownership was the only group to submit a proposal. Tempe officials wanted a sports stadium or an arena and a practice facility on the property. They wanted a team owner to create a stadium or an arena village that would include 1,000 residential units, 200,000 square feet of retail space, and a large plaza with amenities. Name recognition for Tempe and an opportunity for Tempe public service announcements. The RFP seemed to be written for the hockey franchise. The hockey team was the only group that responded to the Request For Proposal. The Arizona franchise has moved out of Glendale, a community west of Phoenix that built an arena for the team which opened in 2003 and ended up being a financial failure for both the team and city. The team is relocating to a 5,000-seat arena in Tempe that is being built for the Arizona State University hockey program. The NHL allowed the transfer of the Winnipeg franchise to Phoenix in 1996.
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