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Features

Arizona Coyotes’ former and present venues announce name changes

NHL ice hockey franchise Arizona Coyotes’ current and former home arenas have been officially renamed according to announcements from operators Oak View Group and ASM Global.

The Coyotes are to start life at a new multi-purpose arena at Arizona State University from this season. The 5,000-capacity venue, which will be operated and managed by OVG360 when it opens this autumn, is to be called Mullett Arena in recognition of Donald ‘Donze’ and Barbara Mullett’s commitment to ASU and Sun Devil Athletics.

The team previously played at the former Gila River Arena, which has now become Desert Diamond Arena through a new long-term partnership between gaming group Desert Diamond Casinos, ASM Global and the City of Glendale. The 18,000-seat facility is located less than a mile from Desert Diamond’s casino in Glendale’s sports and entertainment district.

ASM Global said the partnership, which will be in place for at least a decade, will integrate new opportunities and synergies between itself, the gaming group and the arena, including new headline events and interconnected promotions. Rage Against the Machine and Roger Waters are among the acts scheduled to play there.

The group added that it is planning major upgrades to the arena, with its growth plans coinciding with future hotel and resort expansions to Desert Diamond Casinos.

Jason Oberlander, chief commercial officer for ASM Global, said: “This is about much more than changing the name of the arena. Strengthening our relationship with Desert Diamond Casinos through this new agreement will allow us to go further than ever before in delivering the highest level of entertainment experiences to our guests.

“With the City of Glendale, this partnership is more than the sum of its parts; and we are excited to move forward with this new opportunity.”

Mullett Arena, situated in Tempe’s Novus Innovation Corridor, will house the Coyotes for at least three seasons as the team develops its planned new arena in the same city.

It will also host Sun Devil hockey, gymnastics and wrestling, as well as concerts, family shows, community events and the Mountain America Community Iceplex. The venue includes two NHL regulation-size ice sheets, 20 luxury suites, a large club lounge and event-level premium club seats.

Mullett Arena is also the new home for Sun Devil Hockey with over 8,000 square feet set aside for ASU’s locker room, weight room, lounge and coaches’ offices.

ASU said through the recognition of Mullett Arena, the Mullett family is extending existing support of Sun Devil Hockey and Sun Devil Athletics. ASU said support from the Mullett family in recent years was instrumental in elevating ASU Hockey to NCAA Division I status.

“Arizona State University is empowered to realize its vision for a 21st-century university through the imagination and philanthropy of its donors,” said ASU president Michael M. Crow.

“The generosity and confidence demonstrated by the Mullett family for our hockey program and our broader desire to be of service, matched with a state-of-the art facility, will allow us to build on ASU’s tradition of character-building competition and excellence.”

In September, the Coyotes revealed plans for a $1.7bn 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.

The team’s lease at the Glendale arena expired at the end of the 2021-22 season and the need for the Coyotes to secure a new home intensified earlier this year when 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.