More fall and winter sports are underway, with the weather getting cooler. With that, it's almost time for the new multipurpose Mullett Arena to host ASU athletics and the Arizona Coyotes in the inaugural season.
The Sun Devil wrestling team has competed at Desert Financial Arena since 1974 before ASU built the new venue, and it is a team looking forward to improved conditions. Over time, the team's dominant performance in Pac-12 play has helped amass a loyal fanbase. Last season, ASU averaged 1,427 fans per event. In all, a total of 7,139 fans came out to watch the Sun Devil wrestling team.
"It was electric," redshirt senior Michael McGee said. "We always have a lot of Sun Devil fans come through, so it was nice, especially being able to host the Pac-12 Championships last year."
Although Mullett Arena only houses 5,025 people, the fans will be much closer to the action than ever before. The 942-seat student section along the west side is likely to enhance the game day experience for students and fans.
In Mullett Arena is where the Sun Devil hockey and gymnastics teams will be as well. The arena is named after Donald and Barbara Mullett and is located in the Novus Innovation Corridor, a 355-acre development that spans over 10 million square feet of urban mixed-use developments.
The Mullett Family are long-time supporters of Sun Devil Hockey and athletics. Along with ASU sporting events, Mullett Arena will host the NHL's Arizona Coyotes for the 2022-2025 seasons, with an additional option for 2025-26.
There has yet to be official determination on capacity for Coyotes' games, but ESPN reports it's expected to be between 4,800 to 5,000 fans. There will beat least 500 seats that will serve as a student section for ASU students in attendance. Ticket prices for the student section will be around $25-$50 per game. The first Coyotes home game in Mullett Arena is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 28, against the Winnipeg Jets.
"There is only one person whose name should be on our ice and our arena, and it's Don Mullett," Sun Devil hockey coach Greg Powers said. "Without 'Donze,' this arena doesn't happen, and NCAA Division I men's ice hockey doesn't exist at ASU. The Mullett family legacy will forever be cemented at ASU, and nothing will make our ACHA and NCAA alumni happier."
Before the construction of Mullett Arena, ASU hockey called Oceanside Arena their home ice, a 36,000 square foot building with a capacity of 747. The new home for Sun Devil Hockey will more than triple the number of fans welcomed in the stadium, providing for a loud and entertaining atmosphere.
Similar to the wrestling team, the Sun Devil gymnastics teams has also competed in Desert Financial Arena since the late 1970s. They, too, will benefit from the emergence of the new arena.
The ASU women's gymnastics team has been to the NCAA Championships 24 times and has produced six individual NCAA champions. According to the Utah gymnastics team, which complied attendance data, ASU women's gymnastics was ranked 18th in gymnastics attendance in the NCAA for 2020 with 2,272.
Along with a fresh game day experience, the new arena also provides an opportunity for younger wrestlers to shine. Redshirt freshmen Max Wilner will officially suit up for the first time this season and has envisioned competing in Mullett Arena since the initial announcement.
"The flames and the smoke when you run out is something I've envisioned every day," Wilner said. "So it'd be pretty cool to experience it in the new arena. I see the arena every day on the way to practice or lift and manifest it that I will be in there performing."
Wilner appeared in three tournaments last season, earning a 7-4 overall record. He won the Mountaineer Open at 165 lbs. and will look to help the Sun Devils capture another Pac-12 title.
The Sun Devils wrestling team will step foot in the new arena for the first time on Nov. 5 during the Maroon and Gold intrasquad scrimmage. The hockey team begins its new era at the Mullett on Oct. 14th, when they host Colgate for their first home series.
"It is an honor for Barb, me, and our family to have our name associated with Sun Devil Athletics' new on-campus multi-purpose facility," said Don Mullett.
Edited by Walker Smith, Logan Stanley and Grace Copperthite.
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