After making some key personnel decisions, Arizona Coyotes owner Andrew Barroway says that securing a new arena is a priority for the organization. He is also dispelling the possibility of relocating the team.
Earlier this week, the Coyotes announced that experienced sports executive Steve Patterson had been named the team’s new president and CEO. This came weeks after Barroway made a major move of his own by buying out the Coyotes minority owners, effectively claiming sole ownership of the club.
For the Coyotes, much of the focus has been on the club’s future as it seeks a new arena. The team’s lease agreement at Glendale’s Gila River Arena is set to expire after the 2017-18 NHL season, and it has been known that the club wants to find a longterm solution.
In remarks on Thursday, Barroway emphasized not only the importance of finding a longterm home for the Coyotes, but assured that he is not looking to move the team. Additionally, it was noted how Patterson’s background could help the organization’s effort. More from AZ Central:
This isn’t a new ambition for the Coyotes, who have been plagued by arena uncertainty for years, but the brain trust guiding the team has changed. Rick Tocchet has taken over behind the bench as head coach, and former Arizona State athletic director Steve Patterson is now team president and CEO. General Manager John Chayka’s role has also been underscored, as he’s added the title of president of hockey operation.
“Let’s put this to bed: We’re not relocating,” Barroway said.
Patterson is an experienced executive in pro sports who was involved in the financing and construction of Reliant Stadium (now NRG Stadium) in Houston, and he said the team is open to talking to anyone in the Valley interested in a partnership. The Coyotes are particularly intrigued by the East Valley.
“It will get done because it has to get done,” Barroway said. “Failure is not an option here. We’re going to get a new stadium in Arizona, where it should have been located to begin with.”
Barroway did not comment on whether the Coyotes will extend their lease at Gila River Arena, labeling it as a “hypothetical,” according to Arizona Sports.