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Friday, June 14, 2024

Phoenix Airport Backs Off Coyotes Arena Opposition

  • The proposed Arizona Coyotes arena project lost a key opponent with Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport seeming to back down.
  • The project's fate will be decided by Tempe voters in a special election.
Renderings of new Arizona Coyotes stadium developments
Arizona Coyotes

The Arizona Coyotes arena project has been cleared for takeoff by one of its biggest opponents.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is apparently backing off its opposition to the Coyotes’ plans. It had previously sought to block the project on the grounds that the proposed development was in the airport’s flight path.

  • The Coyotes hope to build a $2.1 billion arena and surrounding development on land owned by Tempe.
  • The project calls for nearly 2,000 apartments and an entertainment district on 46 acres of land.

Sky Harbor had contended that the plan violated an agreement between Phoenix and Tempe on how close the housing can be to the airport and threatened lawsuits.

However, Sky Harbor official Chad Makovsky wished the city good luck on the project at a Tempe city council meeting last week, seemingly indicating that Sky Harbor is softening its stance.

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Power to the People

In November, the Tempe council voted to hold a special election so that voters could determine the fate of the project.

Should the team prevail, it will provide a pathway out of its current situation, in which it plays its home games at Arizona State University’s Mullett Arena, which only holds around 5,000 people. 

The team is averaging 4,600 fans this season, about a third of the next-lowest team, the Buffalo Sabres, which bring in 13,634 per home game.

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