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Coyotes Plan to Move Closer to Majority of Fans

The site of the team's proposed arena is near Tempe Town Lake

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

Proposed Arena Press Conference

Coyotes executives discuss details of proposed arena

Coyotes executives Andrew Barroway & Anthony LeBlanc answer questions about the plans for a new arena in Tempe, Arizona

  • 15:50 •

GLENDALE -- The Coyotes on Monday unveiled details regarding a new arena they hope to build in Tempe as part of a partnership with Arizona State University.

"Any business that you run, you want to make sure you're as close as possible to the majority of your customers," Team President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc told reporters at a press conference on Monday. "It's just a simple, empirical fact that the majority of our fan base is located on the east side (of the Valley). That's not to say anything negative about our friends here on the west side, it's just a fact that the vast majority are on the east side."

The team's plan is to construct a 16,200-seat facility on a 58-acre parcel of land within Arizona State's Athletic Facilities District, currently serving as the back nine of the Karsten Golf Course, near Tempe Town Lake. In addition to the main rink for the Coyotes, the plan also includes constructing a second sheet of ice for use as the team's practice facility and by Arizona State athletics, youth hockey teams, and for community events. A second phase of the project is expected to include a hotel.

"The Tempe Town Lake area is one of the fastest growing, if not the fastest growing areas in the metro (Phoenix) area," LeBlanc said. "In fact, I think I've read recently that in the entire country it's considered one of the fastest growing areas. So we're beyond excited to be in such a great location."

Andrew Barroway, the team's majority owner, chairman and governor, said the Coyotes are excited to make such a huge investment.

"We want it to be a state-of-the-art facility, you know, the best in class," Barroway told reporters. "We want something that people are proud of and that people want to go to, in a location that is ideal and centrally situated for a lot of our fans ... We're going to build it so it's also a destination where people might actually want to go and hang out in that area, even when there's not a game. So not only are we going to make it first, first class, we're going to make it cool ... This is going to be more than just one, sleek beautiful stadium. It's going to be a whole development, and we want to impress you guys."

The estimated cost of the project is $400 million.

"The Coyotes will be putting in a large amount of the capital costs," LeBlanc said. "Close to 50 percent will be on the Coyotes. We are looking for a public-private partnership with a couple of government organizations. But that is a very typical way of looking at these types of arenas ... Let's be realistic here: These types of arenas don't happen without some kind of public-private partnership. It's an absolute requirement. But the world has shifted from where teams would look for the entire bill to be covered by a governmental agency toward the middle of the spectrum."

The team is hopeful that construction of the new arena can begin next summer and that the Coyotes will be able to play their first game there to open the 2019-20 season. Until then, Glendale is expected to remain the team's home city.

"In the next few years, as we're building, our plan is to continue to stay and play here at Gila River Arena and make it a smooth transition," Barroway said. 

Coyotes captain Shane Doan has been with the Coyotes since the team moved from Winnipeg to Arizona in 1996. He said the site of the proposed arena is ideal.

"The planned site is considerably more central to the Valley and that's huge," Doan said. "I think a lot of hockey fans here, at times, have found it a little more difficult to come all the way to the northwest. We are all excited about it."

Video: Anthony LeBlanc discusses Coyotes' arena plans

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