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Apr 5, 2024 12:04 am

Coyotes announce plan to build privately funded arena

arizona coyotes, mullett, view

The Arizona Coyotes will attempt to purchase land in Phoenix to build a privately funded arena and entertainment district, the team announced Thursday night.

The plan hinges on the club winning a land auction for the 110-acre site that will be auctioned off by the Arizona State Land Department on June 27. The appraised price of the site is $68.5 million.

According to multiple media reports, the Coyotes are the only acknowledged bidder for the land, but others could emerge to participate in the live auction to be held in Phoenix.

The NHL franchise relocated to Arizona from Winnipeg in 1996 and played in Phoenix until a move to Glendale, Ariz., in 2003. The latter city terminated its lease with the Coyotes following the 2021-22 season.

The team is now in its second season of playing at 5,000-seat Mullett Arena in Tempe, Ariz.

Last year, the Coyotes lost an election among Tempe voters in a plan to build a $2.3 billion arena and entertainment district.

The upcoming land bid could be the club’s final attempt at staying in the Phoenix area.

“There is no other place that we can play in Arizona,” Coyotes president and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez told GoPhnx.com. “If there is not a successful or winning bid, then we will have to explore relocation of this franchise.”

The development plans include a 17,000-seat NHL arena that can be expanded by about 1,500 seats for other events. The location would add a 3,000-seat music theater, 400,000 square feet of retail space, 400,000 square feet of office space, 1,900 luxury residential units plus dining, bars, a farmers’ market and parking structures.

“It’s privately funded, we’re buying the land, we’re paying for all of the building,” Gutierrez told GoPhnx.com. “I want to be very clear so people understand. Alex (Meruelo, the Coyotes owner) is putting up the money to do this. He’s on the hook for it, and that is not the case with any other building in the state of Arizona. That somehow got misconstrued even in Tempe. We were paying for it all.

“In this case, we’re buying the land at an auction. We’re building all the buildings. We’re maintaining all the buildings. We’re not asking for a single dollar from taxpayers to do any of those things. I think it’s very important for people to understand that.”

–Field Level Media

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