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Arizona Coyotes Intend to Bid on Land for New Arena in AZ; Relocation Status Becomes More Clear

Proposed landmark development of an Arizona Coyotes arena to generate $15.5 billion in new spending over the next 30 years, $581 million in new tax revenues, and 10,800 new jobs for Phoenix

By Todd R. Berger

4.15.24 Rendering of proposed new arena for Phoenix Coyotes
Rendering of the interior of the proposed arena for the Arizona Coyotes on the Phoenix/Scottsdale border || Courtesy of the Arizona Coyotes

Following the release of a public land auction notice from the Arizona State Land Department for 110 acres of state-owned land at the northwest corner of Scottsdale Road and the Loop 101 in the City of Phoenix, the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes announced their commitment to win the auction and develop the land into a sports, lifestyle, and entertainment district without taxpayer funding—but they did not distance the club from widespread news reports that the team planned to move to Salt Lake City, Utah, after this season.

The Arizona Coyotes hope to develop the first privately funded sports arena and entertainment district in the history of Arizona that will house the team for years to come. In buying this parcel of land, the Coyotes would be funding public education across Arizona through the auction proceeds, and will unlock thousands of acres of land around the property by committing to more than $100 million worth of infrastructure improvements that can be sold by the Arizona State Land Department at a later date.

“My family and I are committed to winning this land auction and building a transformative entertainment district that will not require taxpayer funding for the first time in Arizona history,” says Arizona Coyotes Chairman and Governor Alex Meruelo, in a prepared statement. “We will buy this land, build this development, and finish a project that will incur the cost of more than $100 million in infrastructure improvements with no burden placed on taxpayers.”

The proposed arena would have 17,000 fixed seats for NHL games and capacity for roughly 1,500 additional temporary seats for non-hockey events. The Coyotes’ new home would also include a 150,000-square-foot practice facility and headquarters, 400,000 square feet of retail, and a multipurpose watch party plaza equipped with a supersize screen for viewing events. Ensuring comfort for Coyotes fans, the main entertainment district would be fully covered by a 170,000-square-foot roof canopy extending from the arena to the theater.

The Coyotes’ development plans also include 1,900 luxury residential units, 400,000 square feet of class A office space, branded retail, dining, bars, a farmers market, dog park, multiple parking structures, and other gathering spaces, all with easy access to major thoroughfares along the desirable Phoenix-Scottsdale border.

“We are excited that the proceeds from our land auction bid also will generate revenues to fund local education throughout the state of Arizona and support the communities that have been so loyal to the Coyotes for many years,” says Meruelo. “Arizona is our home and an incredible market where the Coyotes belong. This district would provide a beautiful home for the Arizona Coyotes for decades to come. Our loyal fans deserve this vibrant gathering place that would serve as a landmark to create lifelong memories.”

Proposed landmark development of an Arizona Coyotes arena is set to generate $15.5 billion in new spending over the next 30 years, $581 million in new tax revenues, and 10,800 new jobs for Phoenix

“We are thrilled by the prospects of building this historic development for Arizona Coyotes fans and fans-in-waiting,” says Coyotes President and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez. “This is more than just an arena project—it is a best-in-class urban redevelopment project that would transform a perfectly located parcel of land into an Arizona landmark and create a vibrant neighborhood for individuals to live, work, and play.

“We are excited to continue to work with Gensler and AECOM Hunt, as we hope to convert our longtime vision into a reality for Phoenix,” continues Gutierrez. “Their innovative designs and attention to every small detail make them the perfect partners as we seek to transform the Arizona skyline.”

Multiple news reports in April noted the team told players the franchise will move to Salt Lake City. On April 13, Muruelo says in a press release, “There has been a lot of discussion in recent days about the future of the Arizona Coyotes. I understand and empathize with the concerns of our fans, our community, our partners, our players, our front office, and all of our team members. I hope to address these issues as soon as I am able to speak on the topics.” The press release notes there are “a myriad of issues that are unresolved.”

On April 15, news organizations, including Salt Lake City’s Deseret News, noted the NHL Executive Committee approved the move and sale of the franchise but that Meruelo would retain the rights to the name, logos, and trademarks, and, if a new arena project can be completed within five years, the NHL would award an expansion franchise to Phoenix. For the move to become official, the NHL’s Board of Governors, including representatives of all 32 NHL teams, needs to approve the deal.