The Arizona Coyotes announced Friday morning that a site for their new arena has been selected.
Where will it be? We'll have to wait a little longer on that: Coyotes co-owner, president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said that information will be revealed later in the summer.
“We have made some significant progress in the last several weeks and we are down to the point where we have selected a site,” LeBlanc said at the Coyotes' NHL Draft headquarters in Buffalo.
“We’re not at liberty to disclose the site at this point, but we are moving forward and are actually in the process of trading legal documentation between us and the organizations that we’re working with. We anticipate getting that done over the next several weeks.”
LeBlanc said the new arena will be financed in a "public/private fashion," but more than half will be financed privately by the Coyotes.
“We’re very, very happy with where we’re moving forward at this point,” LeBlanc told reporters in Buffalo. “We’re now focused on where we envision our long-term future to be in the Valley and that’s a good thing.”
The Coyotes' current arena lease at Gila River Arena in Glendale is set to expire after the 2016-17 season. On Friday, LeBlanc suggested the Coyotes would try to extend their stay in Glendale until the new arena is complete.
“I think it’s fair to say that it will be this season plus two more (in Gila River Arena),” he said.
The Coyotes have reportedly long favored the East Valley as a possible landing spot after encountering numerous legal issues with the City of Glendale. Last summer, the Glendale City Council voted to void its 15-year arena lease with the Coyotes. The two sides agreed on a revised two-year lease at Gila River Arena that expires after next season.
Earlier this week, ABC15 sports director Craig Fouhy learned via a source that the new arena will likely be a joint venue with Arizona State University's NCAA Division I hockey team.
The Coyotes have reportedly also considered an arena on the land of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and in Phoenix in what would have been a joint venue with the Suns. The Coyotes and Suns have reportedly had trouble reaching agreeable terms.
ASU has also been in the market for a new, larger venue to replace its current home of Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe, which has a seating capacity of less than 800.