After officials from Sky Harbor International Airport said the construction of the proposed Arizona Coyotes arena in Tempe would cause numerous delays and losses of millions of dollars, the National Hockey League franchise’s development team accused the Phoenix Aviation Department of fabricating those results.
During a May 19 Phoenix Aviation Advisory Board meeting, Coyotes CEO Xavier Gutierrez, the team’s attorney, and several consultants set out to disprove concerns airport officials expressed during the board's previous meeting in April.
At April’s meeting, Jordan Feld, Phoenix’s deputy aviation director, said that, based on information given to the airport by the Coyotes’ development team, the construction cranes being used for the project could cause airlines to demand to take off from the north runway to avoid the proposed project, which would lead to delays and up to a $21 million loss for the airport.
During Thursday’s meeting, a slide from the Coyotes presentation said those numbers were “fabricated.”
In fact, Feld admitted on Thursday that the numbers he shared were based on the highest projections and factored in demand levels not currently being seen at the airport. Feld still said that the construction of the proposed project could cause delays leading to losses for the airport up to $2.8 million a year — the low end of the projections.