A new home for the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes is one step closer to reality.
The Tempe City Council has unanimously approved the team’s proposal for a new arena and entertainment district that could cost up to $2.1 billion.
The plan was proposed by Bluebird Development, a real estate company owned by Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo.
- The 46-acre project would feature a 16,000-seat arena and practice facility.
- Hotels, retail shops, apartments, and a theater are also included.
- At least $1.9 billion of development costs will be privately funded.
Final approval for the proposed project depends on a voter referendum on May 16, which will decide whether the Coyotes will eventually move from Arizona State University’s Mullett Arena.
The team began playing at ASU following a dispute with the city of Glendale over Gila River Arena. The Coyotes owe $1.3 million in unpaid taxes and arena charges and have until Dec. 20 to settle their outstanding debt, which includes $250,000 owed to the city of Glendale.
Making A Commitment
Despite waiting for approval on a new home, the Coyotes could see new opportunities if their development plan comes to fruition.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has vowed to bring the NHL All-Star Game or NHL Draft to Tempe if the project is approved. “It’s a private-funded project, and the club’s prepared to execute a 30-year, non-relocation agreement,” Bettman said.