TEMPE — The bickering between the Arizona Coyotes and officials from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport continues to escalate as a decision from the City of Tempe on a proposed arena draws closer.
Ever since the National Hockey League team started doling out information on its proposal to remove 1.5 million tons of trash from a city dump in Tempe and turn the 46-acre property on the northeast corner of Priest Drive and Rio Salado Parkway into a $1.7 billion entertainment district with a new arena, hotels and luxury apartments, officials from Sky Harbor have been raising concerns about the project interfering with airport operations.
The Coyotes have only submitted a proposal to build the arena project to Tempe, and the city has yet to make any decisions or hold any hearings on the project. It is expected that Tempe will decide by the end of the year.
The latest round in the fight came in the form of letters sent between the two parties that have since been published on the airport’s website.
Coyotes’ attorney Nick Wood sent a letter to the Phoenix Aviation Department on Oct. 25 following an Oct. 21 Phoenix Aviation Advisory Board meeting where Chad Makovsky, Phoenix’s director of aviation services, and Jordan Feld, the deputy aviation director of planning and environment, discussed the proposed development. At the meeting, Feld said the Coyotes' proposal was a “mix of incompatible uses.”
In his letter, Wood said that the Coyotes were not aware in advance of the Oct. 21 meeting and that he was disappointed that the team was not allowed to present or counter claims made by Makovsky or Feld.
On the other hand, the Coyotes keeping saying that all the proposed plans are within city, airport and Federal Aviation Administration guidelines and that the team is not asking for any special accommodations from the airport to build it.