Coyotes CEO: New arena announcement to come soon

Posted at 3:58 PM, Apr 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-11 18:58:05-04

Last month, ABC15 learned that the Arizona Coyotes are contemplating three possible locations for a new arena, and those plans were on track to be finalized and announced sometime in April.

"It's a lot of work ... We want this to happen in a shorter timeframe than a longer one"

On Monday, Arizona Coyotes co-owner, president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc confirmed the Coyotes are on track to make such an announcement.

"The reality is we do anticipate there will be an announcement on this front within the next couple of weeks," LeBlanc said during the Coyotes' press conference to announce the firing of general manager Don Maloney.

The three possible locations for a new arena are reportedly:

1. Phoenix, in a shared venue with the Phoenix Suns

2. Tempe, in a shared venue with Arizona State University's NCAA hockey team

3. Scottsdale, on the land of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

According to a source, Tempe or Scottsdale are the most likely destinations.

From 1996-2003, the Coyotes shared an arena with the Suns at what is now Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix. The Coyotes moved to Glendale during the 2003-04 season.

But the Coyotes have had a number of legal issues with the City of Glendale, and last summer, the Glendale City Council voted to void its 15-year lease with the Coyotes. The two sides agreed on a revised two-year lease that expires after the 2016-17 season.

Reports say a new arena would take about three years to complete. That's why LeBlanc wants plans for a new arena finalized as soon as possible.

"It's a lot of work. It's a lot of time. Just an announcement is one thing; it's probably another 9 to 12 months before shovels are actually in the ground. We want this to happen in a shorter timeframe than a longer one," he said.

"It's fair to say that we outlined to the groups that we've been having discussions with that time is of the essence, and that there is a timeframe that must be adhered to. Everybody we have met with, be it the City of Phoenix, Arizona State or other organizations, have understood that."

LeBlanc confirmed news reports that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was in the Valley two weeks ago to meet with the Coyotes about their plans for a new arena.

LeBlanc said there has been a "tremendous amount of activity" on the arena front since Bettman's visit, including "multiple calls with one group" last weekend.