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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Coyotes Plan To Buy Land In Mesa For New Arena

  • NHL team sticks with plan to focus on Phoenix's East Valley for arena site
  • Even with letter of intent, search will continue for other land parcels
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Coyotes have found a new plot of land to potentially build a new arena and remain in the Phoenix market.

Less than three months after a stinging ballot-box defeat for a proposed arena and mixed-use development in Tempe, the Coyotes and team owner Alex Meruelo have signed a letter of intent to purchase a plot of land in Mesa as the possible site of a sports arena and entertainment district.

The project would seek to replicate the core of the $2.1 billion project proposed in Tempe, including a 16,000-seat arena, hotels, shops, restaurants, and housing.

Since the Tempe rejection, both the Coyotes and NHL had been adamant about remaining in the Phoenix area if possible. The Coyotes, however, have no intention of pursuing another referendum approval. Team president Xavier Gutierrez said in June, “Our goal is to try to get to a straight line and have a resolution as quickly as possible.”

“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,” the team said Wednesday. 

Located in the Phoenix area’s East Valley, Mesa is also home to two MLB Cactus League complexes: the Chicago Cubs’ Sloan Park and Hohokam Stadium, the Spring Training home of the Oakland A’s.

Even with the letter of intent for the land purchase, the Coyotes said they’ll continue to explore other potential development sites in the East Valley. For now, the team remains at Arizona State University’s 5,000-seat Mullett Arena.

The Coyotes’ local TV situation, however, remains tenuous amid ongoing turmoil with Bally Sports Arizona and its bankrupt parent, Diamond Sports Group.

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