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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Coyotes’ $2.1B Entertainment District Plan Rejected

  • NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said he is "terribly disappointed."
  • Propositions 301, 302, and 303 did not received the needed majority "yes" votes.
Arizona Coyotes
Arizona Coyotes

An entertainment district plan including an arena for the Arizona Coyotes was rejected by voters in Tempe.

The unofficial voting results were tallied late Tuesday for Propositions 301, 302, and 303, and none received more than 44% “yes” votes. In order for the Coyotes’ plan to move ahead, the measures needed to receive a majority of votes.

Coyotes President and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez said in a statement that the next move for the franchise “will be evaluated by our owners and the National Hockey League over the coming weeks.”

That review — at least as far as the team’s interim plans — took less than 24 hours.

The Coyotes will return to ASU’s Mullett Arena next season, a source confirmed to Front Office Sports on Wednesday. The Coyotes signed a three-year lease to serve as the team’s interim home, and next season will be Arizona’s second at the 5,000-seat arena.

The $2.1 billion proposal included a 16,000-seat arena, hotels, shops, restaurants, and as many as 1,990 apartments. The 46-acre project project — proposed by Bluebird Development— was also privately funded.

“The National Hockey League is terribly disappointed,” commissioner Gary Bettman said regarding the results of the stadium vote.

Wandering Coyotes

The Coyotes — the least valuable NHL team at $450 million, according to Forbes — have played their home games at Arizona State University this past season with a capacity of only 5,100.

The team has called the Phoenix area home since relocating from Winnipeg after the 1995-96 season, but the franchise never found a foothold. In 2003, the Coyotes moved out of downtown Phoenix for Glendale, where the team languished and went bankrupt under former owner Jerry Moyes in 2009.

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