NHL Goes Onto The Season With Two Arena Problems

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Ottawa and the Phoenix markets need new arenas according to team owners.

The 32 National Hockey League franchises will be getting back to work soon and it appears the league does not have too many arena woes. The perennial Arizona problem has not gone away as that franchise’s ownership group is looking for a permanent home in the Phoenix market with the latest possible landing spot being Mesa after the franchise lost a referendum and a chance to build an arena on a Tempe toxic dump site last May. The Arizona ownership has made the claim that it wants to stay in the Phoenix market. The new Ottawa Senators’ ownership is kicking the tires around the Ottawa market in a quest to land a new arena. There is a proposal that the franchise could construct a building on a piece of an Ottawa property called LeBreton Flats. The previous ownership had a claim on the land but new ownership might want to check out some other Ottawa market properties.

Calgary Flames’ ownership apparently will be getting a new arena after years of haggling with Calgary and Alberta elected officials over financing a new building. In the arena game, Flames’ ownership twice walked away from negotiations for a new home but there was never an implied threat about the team relocating although during the years-long protracted negotiations, there was a suggestion that the team could end up in Québec City but the Québec City market does not have enough corporate support to provide enough revenue for an NHL team. Québec City has been passed over twice in NHL expansion. Meanwhile, the Carolina Hurricanes ownership has a deal in place to renovate its Raleigh, North Carolina facility and Hurricanes’ owner Tom Dundon has been given the green-light to surround the renovated building with housing, retail and office building construction. Taxpayers will contribute about $300 million to the project, Dundon will stay in Raleigh at least through 2039.

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Carolina Hurricanes' Shayne Gostisbehere celebrates his goal with teammates Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Martin Necas, and Carolina Hurricanes' Stefan Noesen (23) during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, March 5, 2023.
(AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)