The Arizona Coyotes say they have already surpassed season-ticket revenue from their old arena in Glendale heading into a season when they will play in what is by far the smallest arena in the NHL, ESPN reported on Wednesday.
The Coyotes are set to play at Arizona State University's Mullett Arena, which will seat between 4,800-5,000 fans, for at least the next three seasons after their relationship soured with arena operators in Glendale. Previously, the Coyotes played at a 17,125-seat facility.
"We know this is going to be sold out for every single game and we never had any doubt that was going to be the case," Coyotes president/CEO Xavier Gutierrez told ESPN. "We could have sold this out to our existing season-ticket base, but we didn't think that was the right approach. We want to make sure that fans who have never experienced a game could experience it. That's a very tricky thing when you've downsized capacity."
ESPN says the average ticket price at Mullett Arena is $170, $16 above the league average. It was about $90 for an average ticket in Glendale.
Gutierrez says the Coyotes have generated about 50 per cent more revenue than in their best season in Glendale.
"We're not gouging people here," he said. "You're slightly above an NHL average now while you were well below an NHL average before. And we're in a much more centrally located area."
The Coyotes are hoping to build a bigger arena in Tempe. City council is expected to vote on the plan in the fall.