The seemingly never ending arena saga for the Arizona Coyotes continues as they look for another spot within the area to move to after their deal in Tempe with a partnership with Arizona State University fell through earlier this month. Their search has taken them to the City of Mesa where ownership has met with city representatives about a possible arena site, reports Jessica Boehm of The Arizona Republic.
In particular, the team is eyeing an area in Sloan Park which also hosts the spring training facility for the MLB’s Chicago Cubs. Mesa Mayor John Giles acknowledged that there have been talks with the Coyotes but that it would be premature to call them serious at this time.
As things stand, the Coyotes are obligated to stay in their current home in Glendale through 2017-18. At the time that the Tempe deal was agreed upon, it was reported then that they were likely to negotiate a short-term extension to stay there while their new arena was being built. Presumably, that will be the case whenever they reach a new deal, whether it’s in Mesa or elsewhere.
While their original plan fell through, the team got some potentially good news earlier this month from proposed legislation that calls for public financing to cover 57% of the cost of a new arena – $170MM through sales taxes while the host city would kick in an additional $55M. Previously, the Coyotes were set to cover half of the cost of any new facility. That bill still has to get through a Senate vote to become official, however.
While some are hoping that the team will eventually wind up moving, that still does not appear to be a viable option for a while yet until all of these other local alternatives are exhausted.