Okay, somebody from the Arizona Coyotes is clearly trying to spread a rumor that the Coyotes are getting close to a deal for a new arena: Following up on yesterday’s completely unsourced Arizona Republic column, we now have a report by KNXV-TV, cited to “sources inside the Coyotes,” that the team is “set to announce” arena plans in April. An arena where? Everywhere!
Coyotes ownership has gathered three viable options for an arena outside Glendale, where they currently play. The two likeliest scenarios:
1. A joint arena in Tempe with the Arizona State University hockey team, which made the jump to the NCAA Division I level in 2015-16.
The Coyotes see ASU as the future of hockey in the Valley, and the relationship between the Coyotes and the university is strong, as the Sun Devils played multiple home games at the Coyotes’ current home of Gila River Arena last season. An ESPN report in January said this scenario is probable.
2. An arena within the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Scottsdale. Sources say the money and space are already in place for such an arena, and construction could begin right away.
The third option is a new joint arena with the Phoenix Suns. Sources say that option is the least likely of the three, as the Suns and Coyotes have struggled to reach agreeable terms.
(Incidentally, be sure to watch the accompanying video to that report, where KNXV journalist Shane Dale makes sure to preface his hard-hitting news report on the Coyotes’ business plans by calling the team his “first love here in the Valley.”)
There really isn’t much in the way of news here, except that the Coyotes owners are still talking to three different possible arena partners — ASU, Salt River, and the Suns — and the first two are going better, maybe. Still, Dale provides zero financial details here, so intentions of wanting to announce something at the end of the NHL regular season or no, there’s still a long way to go before anything gets decided.
If I had to guess, this is most likely an attempt by the Coyotes ownership to get their prospective marks — er, partners — to up their antes: We’re going to announce a winner in April, so get your bids in now, folks, supplies are limited! Either that, or Dale saw the Republic story and decided to run his own report based on whatever he overheard the last time he chatted with the Coyotes’ assistant GM. It’s so hard to see the news for the trees sometimes.