NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman put the relocating rumors to rest by assuring fans that the franchise is not leaving Arizona. "I don’t think the Coyotes franchise is going anywhere," Bettman told the Carton & Roberts radio show. With that being said, the Coyotes are now on the hunt for a new arena to call home in the Phoenix metro area.
On Sept. 2, two weeks after the team's contract was not renewed by Glendale, the Coyotes announced that it submitted a proposal to build a new arena incorporated with an entertainment district in Tempe, near Tempe Town Lake. If the proposal gets approved, the team's move will be a great one for all parties involved, providing many benefits to the ASU community, as well as the city of Tempe and its residents.
This project is in the very beginning stages. Even if the bid is accepted and a contract is awarded to the Coyotes, an arena could be years away from completion. But for the time being, the Coyotes will have to find a new arena. Although we are years away from having an NHL team share a city with ASU, I believe that the wait will be worth it in the end.
Some ASU students, like myself, are thrilled about the possibility of this move becoming a reality. I am a huge fan of the NHL, and with an arena in Tempe, NHL fans would have many opportunities to attend Coyotes home games, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
Phoebe Radisay, a senior majoring in aeronautical management technology, feels the same way about the proposal.
"As a huge hockey fan, it would be incredible to have the Coyotes close to home in Tempe," Radisay said. "I am thrilled about the idea of having NHL hockey in my backyard."
Since the arena may be on the east side of the Valley, students from the Tempe, Downtown Phoenix and Polytechnic campuses will have plenty of chances to attend the Coyotes' home games. A new arena in Tempe may also benefit the city and its sports culture and economy.
Not only will it attract Coyotes fans from all over the Valley to the 41 home games that are in an NHL season, but a new arena location may also expose residents on the east side of the Valley to hockey and professional sports as a whole, as all four of Phoenix's professional sports teams are located in either downtown Phoenix or Glendale.
Aside from sports, the new arena will possibly bring people to Tempe for any event that the arena may host, such as concerts and other entertainment shows.
With the proposal still awaiting approval, the Coyotes' move to Tempe is not yet official, and if approved, the project could be years away from completion. Although a pending approval comes with uncertainty, the Coyotes making their first location bid in Tempe is a great sign toward a positive outcome.
Editor's note: The opinions presented in this column are the author's and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.
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