NHL Commissioner Thinks The Phoenix-Area Arena Problem Will Soon Be Settled

The saga of the Coyotes Phoenix market arena continues.

National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman recently gave an update on the efforts by the Arizona Coyotes ownership to build a new arena in the Phoenix market and the update really was not much of an update. “They are in the process of exploring a number of parcels of land that can host an arena and entertainment retail district project, and my belief is in the next few months, they will finalize something, and they’re looking for situations that don’t require a referendum. There are a number of locations that would be great,” Bettman said.

It seems the Arizona ownership is in the same spot that it was in August when the ownership expressed interest in getting a Mesa parcel for a sports arena and entertainment district. But the business also put out what might be considered a contradictory statement that Mesa might not be the final landing spot for the NHL team. “In addition to this property in Mesa, the Club will continue to explore other potential sites in the East Valley.” The hockey club’s public relations department continued in its trying to sound very serious but with a non-committal statement that “the Coyotes remain committed to building the first privately funded sports facility in Arizona history and ensuring the Valley as the club’s permanent home.” Then the ownership went silent ending the statement with the words. “We will have no further comment at this time.” In June, the hockey business claimed it identified a half-dozen potential sites to build an arena-village. The Arizona franchise lost a bid to build an arena-village in Tempe in May when voters struck down a referendum on the possibility of building a facility on a city dump in Tempe. Neither Coyotes ownership nor Bettman wants to go through the referendum process again. Politicians and sports owners loathe venue referendums.

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(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)