ASU and the Arizona Coyotes have reached a deal allowing the Coyotes to use ASU's new multipurpose arena, for at least the next three seasons, as they look for a new home. This agreement, however short, greatly benefits ASU.
Currently, the ASU men's hockey team plays at Oceanside Arena, which holds just 747 seats for hockey games. ASU has been building and constructing a new multipurpose arena in Tempe to hold 5,000 fans.
"ASU will be able to hold more events, which results in more revenue for the school," said Kenny McGinley, president of Arizona High School Hockey Association. “This agreement will also put ASU on the map."
ASU will be given a huge advantage in the recruitment of hockey players moving forward, because the coaching staff can draw in players who want to play at an arena where an NHL team plays. With better recruitment and a better facility, the Sun Devil hockey program can only move upward.
The ASU players will also have a rare chance, from a young age, to see how professionals practice and what goes into making a professional hockey player, potentially motivating ASU's whole team.
A new facility will also bring in more fans, making ASU a hotspot for hockey. This will draw in a wider age range of fans for both teams and help promote hockey as a sport on the rise in the West.
"There is no doubt for ASU to get into this deal. They invested in a great venue, bringing the Coyotes in, and having to upgrade that to NHL quality will make it the premier collegiate hockey venue in the country," said Todd Merkow, a sports and media instructor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
With this deal, ASU has a chance to drive in revenue from the Coyotes and also have a consistent tenant for the multi-purpose arena. ASU has nothing to lose from this deal, and it vastly helps the school in regards to driving in money. Its hockey program will have the potential to be one of the top spots for hockey recruits from all over the world.
ASU has the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a program-defining move to benefit its hockey program and school by completing the agreement with the NHL and the Arizona Coyotes.
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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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