The Arizona Coyotes NHL ice hockey team could play home games at Chase Field, home of Major League Baseball outfit the Arizona Diamondbacks, once it leaves the city of Glendale.
The Coyotes currently have a lease deal to continue playing at Gila River Arena in Glendale until the end of the 2021-22 season. The team has played at the arena since 2003 but its relationship with the City of Glendale has been strained.
Earlier this month, the Coyotes claimed to have cleared debts that led to the team being threatened with expulsion from Gila River Arena. City officials had told the Coyotes to pay up money owed in back taxes and to venue operators ASM Global or risk being barred on December 20.
The Coyotes’ future in Glendale looks bleak with local officials questioning whether they can meet their existing and future financial obligations. The Coyotes are likely to leave Glendale at the end of this season and in September the team revealed plans for a $1.7bn (£1.28bn/€1.51bn) development in the city of Tempe.
The wide-ranging project would be anchored by an arena that would seat 16,000 fans. It is hoped that the Coyotes can move into the new arena by 2025 but the team is yet to be awarded a contract to proceed with the build.
Should the Coyotes leave Gila River Arena at the end of the current NHL season, the team would require a temporary home venue, or venues, before potentially moving into the new arena in Tempe.
The Arizona Republic newspaper has reported that Chase Field in Phoenix could be a possibility despite its primary status as an outdoor baseball venue.
According to the report, the Diamondbacks, which handle bookings and maintenance of the stadium, would be free to negotiate a deal with the Coyotes. The newspaper added that Chase Field would potentially be unable to host the Coyotes during the 2022-23 season due to other commitments, which could force the NHL team to seek an alternative temporary home.
The NHL has held games at MLB venues such as Dodger Stadium, Yankee Field and Coors Field in the past as part of its Stadium Series.