D-backs or Coyotes: Who needs a new home more?

Posted at 11:55 AM, Mar 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-28 14:55:18-04

So, we now have two Valley franchises looking for a new place to play, albeit for very different reasons.

In one corner, we have the downtown Phoenix-based Arizona Diamondbacks, who would like permission to explore new stadium options once it became clear Maricopa County was unwilling to fund certain repair and renovation requests. (So far, that request has been denied.)

And in the other corner -- that is, the Valley's northwest corner -- we have the Arizona Coyotes, whose rocky relationship with the City of Glendale looks to be coming to an end shortly. Speculation is the Coyotes will build a new stadium in Tempe or Scottsdale, and an official announcement of those plans will come soon.

During ABC15's "In The Ring" segment Sunday night, Jason Snavely and Tom Zenner debated the question: Which team is in greater need of a new place to play?

Jason Snavely said the Coyotes need a new home the most -- not because of the quality of their arena, but because of the location.

"The Coyotes need to be somewhere where people will attend more games, plain and simple. They just need to have more fans in the seats," he said, citing a Twitter poll that showed two-thirds of Valley residents would attend more games if the Coyotes relocated to the East Valley.

"Glendale's tough. The Cardinals can bring people out to Glendale, but that's because they're the Cardinals," he said.

But ABC15's Tom Zenner doesn't think this has to be an either-or situation.

"They've been waiting the longest. They need it," he said of the Coyotes. "They need to be closer into central Phoenix, Scottsdale, that area so they can get the support they deserve.

"But I want a great baseball stadium, too, and I don't think we have it. I don't begrudge (president and CEO) Derrick Hall and the Diamondbacks to do this. Why not?"

Zenner said the team's high expectations should help bring out fans this season, but the D-backs need a longer-term strategy for getting people to buy tickets.

"That stadium has to suck people in in August and July when it's hot," he said. "It's not a great experience at Chase Field right now."