NHL Execs Ice Cold On Coyotes’ Arena Plans

    • The Arizona Coyotes revealed potential plans to play at ASU’s rink for the next few seasons.
    • Some NHL executives are calling the situation a “nightmare” and “embarrassing.”

The NHL’s Arizona Coyotes revealed potential plans to play at Arizona State University’s rink for the next few seasons, but executives around the league are reportedly concerned, some even labeling the situation a “nightmare” and “embarrassing.”

With a seating capacity of 5,000, the facility is roughly three times smaller than the average NHL arena. Executives told The Athletic that playing at a smaller arena could affect player salaries, escrow, and teams’ bottom lines.

The average revenue for an NHL team was $140.9 million during the 2019-20 season.

For now, Coyotes have to be out of Glendale’s Gila River Arena by June 30.

  • In August, Glendale said it would not renew its lease due to financial obligations that were not met.
  • In September, the Coyotes unveiled their $1.7 billion arena proposal, calling for roughly $200 million from taxpayers.
  • The team paid all of its delinquent city and state taxes — around $1.3 million — in December, avoiding eviction.
  • PHNX Sports reported the Tempe City Council was leaning against the venue, and one organization is calling on residents to voice their disapproval to the council.

One NHL executive said he wouldn’t be surprised if the owners were forced to move or sell.

Far From Ideal

Another potential issue with playing at ASU is the Coyotes would have to abide by NCAA rules, which would leave locker rooms, training facilities, and workout areas out of the equation. 

Morgan was told that the additional areas would cost $15 million to $20 million, which would have to come straight from owner Alex Meruelo.