Following a stinging ballot box defeat in Tempe, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league and the Arizona Coyotes remain committed to the Phoenix market and are looking at alternate options to build a new arena in the area.
Bettman’s deputy Bill Daly had confirmed talks with Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith about the latter’s desire to place an NHL team in Salt Lake City.
“It’s a good market, and if we can make it work, we’ll make it work,” Bettman said of Phoenix.
The $2.1 billion Tempe proposal that was rejected included a 16,000-seat arena, hotels, shops, restaurants, and as many as 1,990 apartments on 46 acres.
The NHL confirmed plans to stage two outdoor Stadium Series games next season at MetLife Stadium, home of the NFL’s New York Giants and Jets. The Philadelphia Flyers will face the New Jersey Devils on Feb. 17, followed by the New York Rangers vs. the New York Islanders the next day.
The games will be he NHL’s first to be played outdoors in New Jersey.
Bettman said the NHL’s hockey-related revenue for the 2022-23 season is approaching $6 billion — a healthy number that nevertheless won’t boost next year’s salary cap significantly, as players continue to pay off pandemic-related revenue losses.