Arizona Coyotes Pitch Their New Arena To Tempe City Council

Chicago Blackhawks, Dylan Strome. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Blackhawks, Dylan Strome. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

There’s an old saying “one hand washes the other”, meaning that when two parties are involved in a deal both get something they want out of it. That old saying applies to the Arizona Coyotes’ dealings with the city of Tempe to get their new arena. This of course after they hastily, and some hate embarrassingly, have to make the move to the 5,000 Arizona State University arena. More specifically, it applies to some developments that came out of the city council meeting Thursday night.

That meeting was probably the highlight of the Coyotes’ offseason so far. Shane Doan addressed the council, followed by another speech by Clayton Keller with Nick Schmaltz and Christian Fischer. Imagine Connor McDavid having to go before the Edmonton city council to get something done? It would have been much cooler if they all addressed the council wearing matching kachina jerseys.

The homeless Arizona Coyotes discussed their new arena during a Tempe city council meeting. the council voted to move negotiations forward.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman called into the meeting, saying he couldn’t be there in person because his family threw him a surprise birthday party. Is it really a “surprise” birthday party if you knew about it well enough in advance to affect your travel plans? We’ll save that question for a different time.

The first development to come out of the meeting was that the Coyotes proposed a 30-year non-relocation agreement. The City of Tempe would love to hear that, meaning they get a long-term commitment from the team. Citizens of Quebec City probably weren’t happy with the news. That should stop any talk of the Coyotes relocating for a while, although we all know those rumors are inevitable.

Next, if an arena agreement is made, the arena will guarantee both an NHL draft and an NHL All-Star Game. The NHL Draft or NHL All-Star game has never been held in Arizona, although any potential 2006 All-Star Game would have been played there if not for the Olympics that year. That’s somewhat surprising considering how bullish the league has been on the Arizona hockey market and the fact the Coyotes got a new area during their time in the desert.

This diversifies the type of events that the new arena would hold. Remember in the standoff the Coyotes had with their old landlord the city of Glendale the city said they wanted to have new and different events at Gila River Arena. Give the Coyotes credit for telling Tempe they will have every event they can at their potential new arena.

A few other notes came from the meeting. First, the new arena will be entirely privately funded, meaning Tempe won’t have to open their checkbook. Second, the team sees other team playing at the arena in the future, according to Coyotes CEO Xavier Guttierez.

Who exactly is against the Coyotes’ plan? That would be Phoenix-Sky Harbor International Airport, the area’s main airport. The airport says the new arena would impact flight paths as well as disrupt area residents. The Coyotes say the airport just wants to be able to extend their runway, but the airport does have the Federal Aviation Administration on their side.

The city council voted to continue negotiations, although a deal is far from finalized. For the much bewildered franchise, this new arena is needed and they’re definitely pulling out all the stops. For a full breakdown of the meeting, take a look at @ChierstinSusel on Twitter, who more or less live-tweeted the whole meeting. This isn’t the Coyotes’ “second chance” in Arizona, it’s more the third, or their fourth, or even their fifth.