Coyotes’ future in Arizona to be ‘evaluated’ by NHL after Tempe residents vote against new arena project
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has tried to make hockey in the desert happen like the word fetch — ew, Gretchen — but after 27 years, the Arizona version of the Coyotes may have finally been dealt a death blow.
On Tuesday, residents of Tempe, a suburb of Phoenix, voted no to three referendums which would have allowed developers to build a $2.3 billion entertainment district that included a new and permanent home for the Coyotes. (See the renderings here.) The project was put to a vote after the city of Phoenix and Sky Harbor International Airport had expressed concerns about residences that would be located in a high-noise path. The Coyotes have been trying to build and move into Tempe since November 2016.
The Coyotes are losing a “substantial” amount of money and the new arena would have allowed the team to have a world-class facility that it could grow into the future with.
Now the Coyotes must grapple with its future while playing in a college hockey arena it shares with Arizona State University. It could potentially consider leaving its geographical home for the last three decades.