Coyotes new arena deal falls apart after ASU backs out


Gila Arena, seen in this 2011 file photo, will no longer be home to the Arizona Coyotes after June 30. The club is looking to build a new home in Tempe. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)

Back in November, the Arizona Coyotes announced a proposal to build a 16,000-seat arena near the main campus of Arizona State University by 2019.

The Coyotes now need to come up with a different plan after the school announced Friday it is backing out.

“ASU has no intention of proceeding to sign a development agreement or an option to lease or any other agreement with the Coyotes,” the university said in a statement per The Arizona Republic.

The proposed arena was expected to cost approximately $400 million with the team paying roughly half that total and the rest would’ve been generated through public-private funding.

The arena would’ve been in Tempe, Ariz., less than two miles from the ASU campus. The proposal included an attached 4,000-seat multi-sport arena that was to be used by the school and local youth hockey teams as well as by the Coyotes for their practices.


There had been a June 30 deadline for creating the arena’s final design, operational plan and budget.

“While a new Coyotes arena built with ASU would have been a big winner for our fans, taxpayers, the university and our team, the Coyotes had and continue to have a number of options for a new arena,” Coyotes co-owner and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said in a statement per ABC’s Arizona affiliate. “Nevertheless, the Coyotes are committed to Valley for the long term, and we will continue to explore other options that will ensure a successful future for the team and our fans. We’re a determined bunch — on the ice and off the ice. We intend to do everything we can to keep NHL hockey here in Arizona.”

The Coyotes currently play at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz. The team signed a 15-year, $225-million arena lease deal with the city of Glendale in 2013, but the City Council voted to terminate the lease in June 2015. A month later the city and team eventually restructured the lease agreement to keep the team in Glendale for two more seasons. The team has a lease option for the 2017-18 season and LeBlanc said back in November the team was working on extending it.

With files from the Associated Press

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