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Coyotes weigh in on move to ASU's new multipurpose arena in Tempe

ASU hockey arena.jpg
Posted at 4:04 PM, Feb 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-14 19:31:56-05

TEMPE, AZ — The Coyotes are moving out of Glendale and into the East Valley where their temporary location is less than a third of the size of Gila River Arena.

ABC15 went on a one-on-one with the President of the Coyotes, Xavier Gutierrez, who says "hockey belongs here in the desert,".

On Monday, officials with Arizona State University and the Coyotes gave a tour of the new ASU multipurpose arena where the Coyotes will play temporarily for three years.

The new arena will seat 5,000 fans and include state-of-the-art enhancements for both ASU’s hockey team and the Coyotes.

ABC15 asked Gutierrez how the Coyotes will survive financially with 5,000 fans, he says “yes, it is smaller, but the problem we’ve had is we have been well below the NHL average when it comes to average ticket prices, when it comes to average pricing on our luxury suite, and our loges and our corporate partnerships have been difficult to come by.”

The Coyotes will have to make sure the new arena will meet NHL criteria as well.

“We actually have to create new separate locker rooms, medical facilities with X-ray rooms, and places for our doctors and trainers to be at during day of game,” said Gutierrez.

The team will play home games at the venue from the 2022-23 season through the 2024-25 NHL season with an additional option for the 2025-26 season, the Coyotes announced.

ABC15 reported last week on the Coyotes plans to leave Glendalesaying:

"We are thrilled that we have arranged to play our home games in Arizona State University's new multi-purpose arena starting next season," said Coyotes President & CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez. "This will be an incredible, intimate and exciting fan experience in a state-of-the-art new arena in a fantastic location in the heart of Tempe. We are very grateful to Dr. Crow, the ASU Administration, ASU Athletic Department, and the Arizona Board of Regents for agreeing to provide us with this temporary arena solution for our team as we continue our efforts to secure a long-term home for the Coyotes in the Valley."

The Arizona Board of Regents approved the agreement Thursday, February 10.

"The National Hockey League thanks Arizona State University for its support of the Coyotes during this transition period and for what will be just its latest major commitment to growing our game in the Valley," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said.

"Having made the full-time transition to Division I just seven years ago, ASU hockey already has an NCAA Tournament appearance to its credit and now is moving into a new, state-of-the-art facility. Hockey is thriving in Tempe, and we are delighted that the Coyotes' passionate fans will get to experience ASU's on-campus energy while the Club's new arena is being built," Bettman said.

As part of the transition, the team announced it is negotiating with Ice Den Scottsdale to make the complex the team's full-time practice facility. Ice Den Scottsdale was built in 1998 as the Coyotes primary practice facility.

As for when will the Coyotes know if they can build a permanent arena in Tempe, that will take more time to find out.