Arizona State backs out of Tempe arena deal with Arizona Coyotes

Posted at 7:27 PM, Feb 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-04 09:06:24-05

Arizona State University and the Arizona Coyotes announced Friday that ASU has decided not to proceed with a proposed joint complex in Tempe that would house the Coyotes and the ASU NCAA Division I hockey team.

"In November 2016, Catellus Development Corporation, the Master Developer for the Arizona State University Athletics Facilities District, entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement with the Arizona Coyotes holding company, IceArizona holdings, to produce a development plan for approximately 58 acres in the district that would include a new arena and commercial development project," the university said in a statement.

"ASU has no intention of proceeding to sign a development agreement or an option to lease or any other agreement with the Coyotes."

On Nov. 14, the Coyotes announced plans to create a new arena venue with ASU on the site of the Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, on the northwest corner of McClintock Drive and Rio Salado Parkway, across the street from Tempe Marketplace.

The proposed development was set to include a new 16,000-seat arena for the Coyotes and a 4,000-seat venue for ASU's hockey team, which moved up to the NCAA Division I level last season.

"While a new Coyotes arena built with ASU would have been a big winner for our fans, taxpayers, the university and our team, the Coyotes had and continue to have a number of options for a new arena," Coyotes co-owner and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said in a statement.

"Nevertheless, the Coyotes are committed to the Valley for the long term, and we will continue to explore other options that will ensure a successful future of the team and our fans. We're a determined bunch -- on the ice and off the ice. We intend to do everything we can to keep NHL hockey here in Arizona."

The Coyotes have played at Gila River Arena in Glendale since the 2003-04 season but made plans to leave Glendale after the team and the city renegotiated its arena lease due to legal differences. The lease is set to expire after the 2018-19 season, and the Coyotes had planned to begin play in Tempe in 2019-20.

Before deciding on Tempe, the Coyotes had also reportedly considered the creation of an arena within the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Scottsdale.