Mullett Arena stages first game ahead of welcoming Coyotes

Featured image credit: ASU

Mullett Arena, the new home of Arizona State University’s ice hockey team and the soon-to-be temporary home of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, staged its first game on Friday night as ASU defeated Colgate 2-0.

Mullett Arena has a capacity of around 5,000 and has been named in recognition of Donald ‘Donze’ and Barbara Mullett’s commitment to ASU and Sun Devil Athletics.

The Sun Devils previously played at Oceanside Ice Arena and Friday’s win against Colgate heralded a new era for the team. The Sun Devils were unable to complete a double-header of victories after Colgate secured a 4-0 win on Saturday.

The arena has 658 premium club seats, along with 10 centre-ice loge boxes and five loge boxes on rinkside. Prior to Friday’s opening game, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held featuring Donald and Barbara Mullett.

As well as hosting Sun Devils hockey, gymnastics and wrestling, the arena will stage Coyotes games this season after the NHL team signed a two-year deal, with the option of a third, back in May.

The Coyotes will debut at Mullett Arena on October 28 with a game against the Winnipeg Jets. It will mark an adjustment for the team, which previously played at the 17,000-capacity Gila River Arena.

The Coyotes’ lease deal at Gila River Arena expired following the 2021-22 season and the team will be playing at the much smaller Mullett Arena while it pursues plans for a new permanent home.

In June, Tempe City Council voted to proceed with negotiations on the development of a wide-ranging entertainment district that would be anchored by a new Coyotes arena.

The vote was welcomed by the Coyotes, which said the district represents an “incredible opportunity” for the team and the City of Tempe. The negotiation process is expected to take several months.

In September last year, the Coyotes revealed plans for a $1.7bn (£1.49bn/€1.73bn) development in Tempe, with the project to include an arena that can seat around 16,000 fans. The arena has been designed by Manica Architecture. The complex would also include a 1,500-seat theatre space, offices, an apartment building, a hotel and shops.