The Arizona Coyotes have agreed a multi-year deal with Arizona State University to play at its new multi-purpose arena beginning next season, as the NHL ice hockey franchise continues efforts to secure a permanent home.
The agreement, which was approved yesterday (Thursday) by the Arizona Board of Regents, will see the Coyotes play all their home games at the venue from 2022-23 through the 2024-25 NHL season, with an additional option for the 2025-26 season. The arena, which only has a capacity of around 5,000, is scheduled to be completed early this autumn.
Coyotes president and CEO, Xavier Gutierrez, said: “This will be an incredible, intimate and exciting fan experience in a state-of-the-art new arena in a fantastic location in the heart of Tempe.
“We are very grateful to Dr. (Michael) Crow, the ASU Administration, ASU Athletic Department, and the Arizona Board of Regents for agreeing to provide us with this temporary arena solution for our team as we continue our efforts to secure a long-term home for the Coyotes in the Valley.”
Morgan Olsen, ASU executive vice-president, treasurer, and chief financial officer, added: “We are pleased to help the Coyotes by providing a temporary home while their new arena is built. We are beyond excited to open this wonderful new ASU arena, and this agreement just makes it even more special.”
The ASU agreement, which was first reported last month, will see the Coyotes having to adjust from playing at Gila River Arena, the club’s current home in Glendale which has a capacity for ice hockey of around 17,000.
The Coyotes have played at Gila River Arena since 2003, and since 2016 the team has signed a year-to-year lease with operator AEG Facilities. The team’s current lease runs until the end of the 2021-22 season and the need for the Coyotes to secure a new home intensified in August after the City of Glendale broke off talks over a new deal, stating that it wanted to focus on “larger, more impactful events and uses” for the venue.
In September, the Coyotes revealed plans for a $1.7bn (£1.25bn/€1.49bn) development in the city of Tempe, with the wide-ranging project to be anchored by an arena that would seat around 16,000 fans. The complex would also include a 1,500-seat theatre space, offices, an apartment building, a hotel and shops.
Plans for a new shared arena with ASU previously fell through in 2017.