Report: Coyotes, ASU joint arena 'likely'

Posted at 3:24 PM, Jan 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-31 01:28:14-05

The Arizona Coyotes are looking to build a new arena outside of Glendale.

The Arizona State Sun Devils hockey team, who made the jump to the NCAA D-I ranks this season, want to play in a larger venue.

The solution just might be a joint Coyotes-Sun Devils arena in Tempe -- and an ESPN report says that arrangement may soon come into place.

On Saturday, ESPN's Scott Burnside reported the Coyotes "are expecting plans for a new permanent home in the state to be finalized by the end of the regular season that will resolve the lease/arena issues that have plagued the team for years."

"Although there are still a number of options being discussed, it's believed the most likely scenario is a partnership with Arizona State University with a new arena being built in Tempe," Burnside added.

See also: Why a joint Coyotes-ASU arena would be a win-win scenario

A Coyotes-ASU partnership was mentioned as a possibility earlier this season by Coyotes co-owner and CEO Anthony LeBlanc.

The Coyotes' ownership group has been adamant about keeping the team in Arizona, but after last summer's messy lease re-negotiation with the City of Glendale, the team has explored options to move elsewhere in the Valley. The Coyotes are in the first year of a two-year lease to play in Glendale's Gila River Arena, after the city opted out of the original 15-year lease.

A joint arena with the NBA's Phoenix Suns has also been discussed, but "that appears unlikely now," according to Burnside. From 1996-2003, the Coyotes shared an arena with the Suns at what is now called Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix. The Coyotes moved to Glendale during the 2003-04 season.

"It would take an estimated three years for a new building to be completed, during which time the team would continue to play out of Gila River Arena in Glendale," Burnside reported.

ASU currently plays its home games at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe. Last summer, ASU and the Coyotes agreed the Sun Devils would play four home games at Gila River Arena during the 2015-16 season.