With the city and the Arizona Coyotes (NHL) moving forward with negotiations on a new Tempe arena, team president and CEO Xavier Gutierrez expects a deal to be in place by the end of the year.
On June 2 the Tempe City Council voted 5-2 to move forward with negotiations on a new Tempe arena on a city-owned site on the Salt River. Despite opposition from Phoenix and Sky Harbor International Airport officials, as well as concerns raised by the Federal Aviation Administration, the measure calling for a mixed-use arena-anchored development passed easily.
The plan calls for the proposed Arizona Coyotes arena to seat 16,000 — a smaller venue than Gila River Arena in Glendale as well as the approximately 18,000 capacity for Footprint Center — and feature a design with more fans closer to the action in the lower bowl. (This is very much in line with current sports-venues design trends.) A new team headquarters and training complex would be part of the mix, while owners see the facility as the year-round home for hockey in the Valley. The arena would be featured in the first phase of the development, which would also include a 1,500-seat theater, a 200-room hotel, office space, an apartment building and a small commercial district. A second phase would include 1,500 or more apartments, a larger 300-room hotel with meeting spaces, and additional retail and office space. The specific timeline for each of these projects is still in planning and development.
Gutierrez made his comments on the Bickley & Marotta radio show on Tuesday, expressing great optimism for the plan:
“We respect the process that, really, the city of Tempe is in charge of,” Gutierrez said. “We certainly would love to get something done in terms of an agreement sometime in the fall or before the end of the year so that early part of next year we’re really beginning remediation (of the land). That would be ideal.
“Clearly we’re not in control here. We’re going to go through the process, we’re going to answer all the questions, we’re going to be out in the community as we have been since (owner Alex Meruelo) bought the team and I joined shortly thereafter.”…
“This is not just an arena project. This is an urban redevelopment project that will be best-in-class around the country and it will happen to (include a) best-in-class sports facility that would be the home of our team.”
Negotiations are already underway, but the vote from the City Council does not ensure approval.
Renderings courtesy Arizona Coyotes.
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