In Tempe, Ariz., they rejected an entertainment district proposal Tuesday that included plans to build a new home arena for the Arizona Coyotes. Early returns indicate. Here’s what you need to know:

  • “We are very disappointed that the voters of Tempe did not approve Propositions 301, 302 and 303,” said Coyotes President and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez. he said on Tuesday.. “The future of the franchise will be reviewed by our owners and the National Hockey League in the coming weeks.”
  • NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league was “deeply disappointed.” In his own statementand “evaluates what the options might be going forward with the coyotes.”
  • The $2.1 billion privately funded project includes a 16,000-seat arena, two hotels, retail shops, restaurants and up to 1,990 residential units.
  • The Coyotes played the 2022-23 season at the 5,000-seat Mullet Arena, home of the Arizona State University Sun Devils, after being ousted from their longtime arena in Glendale, Ariz.

The athleticsQuick analysis:

Where do the Coyotes go from here?

The most important part of the statements coming out of Tuesday’s referendum, both from the team and the NHL, was what was left unsaid. There have been many turning points for Coyotes over the past two decades, and many public releases from key stakeholders.

They always include some variation on the phrase, “Our focus is on securing franchise opportunities in Arizona.” This time, his absence is noticeable. – Kind

Evaluating release options

Talk of relocation has already swirled, and now it may be starting overdrive. Houston and Atlanta are no doubt at the top of the list.

Both are huge US media markets. The former is a hockey-ready arena in the Toyota Center and a potential buyer in Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta. Atlanta has an in-the-works arena deal in suburban Alpharetta, run by a team that wants to give the area a third shot at the NHL.

Quebec City will emerge, as it did during the expansion of Vegas and Seattle, but the feeling there is that the city’s time has passed. There’s a platform, sure, but no corporate base to speak of and a metropolitan area of ​​about 800,000 people. – Kind

Salt Lake City is certainly a potential switch if the Coyotes move, which is unlikely yet. – lebrun

Why is this not surprising?

The result here is disappointing for hockey fans in the Valley — but it shouldn’t be surprising. The Coyotes’ long run of success to date has been brought to its knees by some arena drama, poor ownership and mediocre (or worse) production on the ice.

Is there much to like about the NHL concept in Arizona? for sure. The area produced Auston Matthews, among other NHL players, and Phoenix is ​​a large TV market. The fans out there are anxious, anxious.

In a league starved for diversity, the Coyotes are led by Latinos (owners Alex Merulo and Gutierrez). A significant amount of capital, effort and time went into making the whole deal work. But sometimes the hole is too deep, and the people speak for themselves. – Kind

Back story

Tuesday’s vote comes nearly six months after the Tempe City Council voted unanimously (7-0) to approve the proposal in November.

according to The proposal, the group used private funds for the arena project, which “does not require state taxes or Tempe-specific taxes.” The 46 acres of land proposed for the new development is currently urban wasteland, which is expected to have an economic impact of $13.6 billion over 30 years.

Opponents of the deal said. When they played in Glendale, he would give Merulo more than $500 million in tax breaks and sue the team for unpaid bills.

Bettman officially endorsed the proposal in November, calling it a “win for the community.” He added that the league has committed to holding a future draft or All-Star Game in Tempe, and the Coyotes have a 30-year, no-relocation commitment.

In August 2021, the city of Glendale notified the Coyotes that it was withdrawing from the joint lease for the Gila River Arena, essentially forcing the team out of the building after the 2021-2022 season. The Coyotes played their last game at Gila River Arena on April 29, 2022.

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(Photo: David Kerouac / USA Today)

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