The Arizona Coyotes are denying any links to Seattle or Portland, two cities that the team was said to have considered in its ongoing arena search.
Last week, the Coyotes pursuit of a new arena in Tempe received a major setback when Arizona State University said that it would not partner in the proposal. That leaves a lot of unanswered questions about the team’s future, especially since Coyotes officials do not sound too inclined to remain at Gila River Arena amidst tense relations with Glendale officials.
In light of that, word surfaced that the Coyotes had looked at options in Seattle and Portland in recent months. Seattle recently issued a request for proposal for firms to renovate KeyArena, which some officials hope can be renovated to NBA and NHL standards.
Portland, meanwhile offers the Moda Center, the home of the NBA’s Trailblazers. That venue been linked to the NHL off and on over the years, and is currently one of the home venues for the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks.
When asked, however, the Coyotes denied any ties to the Pacific Northwest. More from The Glendale Star:
A spokesperson for Key Arena said, “(the city) recently had a tour for potential developers and potential ownership groups and there was a representative from the (Coyotes) that was part of that.”
He was unaware what member of the organization was part of the tour.
Arizona Coyotes Executive Vice President of Communications Rich Nairn denied the rumors, when asked about the reports of members touring the two arenas.
“That is false,” Nairn said via email.
Whether its the Coyotes or another franchise, the NHL is likely to continue to be linked to Seattle. The city has two options that have been floated–the KeyArena renovation as well as a new arena from developer Chris Hansen in Sodo–and both proposals should offer the ability to accommodate the NHL.
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