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New for 2014: Gila River Arena

Another cog in the new look for the Arizona Coyotes (NHL): the former Arena has a new name, as a naming rights deal led to a new moniker, Gila River Arena.

The Coyotes ownership unveiled the new name at a press conference yesterday.

“This is an exciting day for us,” Anthony LeBlanc, the team’s Co-Owner, President and CEO, said at the press conference. “It’s the culmination of many months working to ensure that we have a naming rights partner that we feel proud of. We feel that we can help each other… When we took ownership, it became evident that they were really the group that we wanted to work with to put their name on our building.”

Terms of the nine-year naming rights deal between the team and Gila River Casinos / Gila River Indian Community were not released. Gila River Arena opened as Glendale Arena on Dec. 26, 2003.

Here’s a look at the enhancements to the arena for the upcoming NHL season:

Levy Restaurants Food & Beverage Options

Coyotes fans will enjoy fresh new menu options at Gila River Arena this season courtesy of Levy Restaurants, the official restaurant partner at the arena. Levy and the Coyotes have expanded offerings and enhanced service for guests within the arena, by increasing the number of concession stands on the lower and upper levels (14 new portables) and also adding more points of sale (27 total) to keep the lines short and the focus on the game.

Led by Executive Chef Stephen Tilder, locations throughout the arena will offer a wider variety of high quality, craveable selections including hand-carved sandwiches, street tacos, beer braised bratwursts and more. Additionally, fan favorite Papa John’s pizza will satisfy traditional appetites, while section 108 will feature a new Grab ‘N Go area with a new selection of healthy options.

“We are all about the Coyotes fans,” said Stephen Tilder, Executive Chef for Levy Restaurants at Gila River Arena. “We are excited to help take the experience at the arena to a new level and welcome fans back with great food and outstanding hospitality.”

Concession Stands

To enhance service in concession areas, nine lower level concourse stands will now feature digital menu boards. The new technology will improve the speed of service, so fans can enjoy exactly what they want, when they want it and get right back to the game. The Coyotes have also moved the popular Tim Horton’s coffee stand on the lower concourse to the south end of Gila River Arena near sections 106/107.

Clubs and Specialty Areas

Specialty areas, such as the Terrace Bar (suite level) and the Rinkside Club (event level) have experienced significant renovations and design upgrades. The Coyotes have also built a permanent ticket sales information and service kiosk inside Gate #2 of Gila River Arena. In addition, the Coyotes have built a new pre and post-game set for broadcast partner FOX Sports Arizona above section 104. This new set will provide FOX Sports Arizona with a great sightline of the ice before, during and after games and more interaction with fans.

Coyotes Offices and Dressing Room Renovation

The Coyotes dressing room underwent a major improvement this summer. A players’ theater room for watching game video was added along with a renovated players’ lounge and new offices for the coaching staff. In June, the Coyotes also moved their entire corporate offices from Westgate Entertainment District to the Gila River Arena. The new offices are located at the north end of the service level and accommodate all of the organization’s hockey and business operations staff.

DAS Upgrade

In partnership with Crown Castle, the country’s largest independent owners and operators of shared wireless infrastructure, the Coyotes have upgraded their Distributed Antenna System (DAS) in Gila River Arena. This will improve the signal and reception for phone and data connectivity to 4G LTE from 2G for all fans in the arena.

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