The Tempe City Council has voted to move forward with the Arizona Coyotes and continue negotiations over the development of the proposed arena and entertainment district. While this does not mean an arena deal is agreed to, it is obviously a positive step forward for the Coyotes as they look to find a more permanent home.
The team released the following statement on last night’s decision:
We are extremely pleased that the Tempe City Council has voted to proceed with negotiations on development of the Tempe Entertainment District. Having heard all the facts, they have recognized the incredible opportunity that this project presents — not only for the Coyotes but also for the city of Tempe. We look forward to taking the next steps to turn this exciting vision into a reality.
One note from the meeting that stood out, as Katie Strang and Sean Shapiro of The Athletic write, is that while addressing the team’s long-term vision, Coyotes president Xavier Gutierrez suggested ownership is looking at “additional teams to own” in the area. The session–which lasted more than eight hours–also included several financial pledges from Coyotes ownership, messages from Shane Doan and Clayton Keller, and Gary Bettman indicating that if the proposal went forward, the team would sign a 30-year non-relocation document.
The Coyotes are set to play the next three seasons at Arizona State University, in a 5,000-seat facility that has drawn the ire and ridicule of many hockey fans across the country. If this plan moves forward with Tempe, the team would be looking forward to a much more realistic long-term home.