Coyotes: What Options Are Left in Arizona?

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - JANUARY 22: Detail of the Arizona Coyotes logo during the NHL game against the Vegas Golden Knights at Gila River Arena on January 22, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Golden Knights 5-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Now that we know the results of the Tempe election, what are the options for the team moving forward? Slow the roll on the relocation talk just yet. It’s already been said they are staying in Mullett Arena through 23-24. So what are the options to stay in Arizona? Plenty, it turns out.

Mesa area

There have already been talks between the Coyotes and Mesa about potentially developing the former Fiesta Mall site in the prime Fiesta area that Mesa has been growing. This would likely be the ideal location for them (possibly over Tempe even). If Coyotes ownership is serious about funding this privately, they may even be able to do this without a vote, but most likely, another vote will be needed if they go forward with this site. It’s one of the larger population centers in AZ alone and accessible to most of the Phoenix metro area. Keep an eye on this location moving forward. It seems prime for a stadium as the area’s centerpiece.

Suns/Yotes partnership

This has not been an option previously due to Robert Sarver being well Robert Sarver. Mat Ishbia may be far more amicable to a potential partnership as he has already expressed a desire for a new arena himself. Splitting the arena may not be the ideal outcome. Still, a Yotes/Suns partnership on a new arena going forward (or even Ishbia buying part of the Coyotes to maximize the impact of the arena) is a legitimate option that was not available even six months ago.

Salt River Reservation

The Salt River reservation has been trying to get an arena for a while now. It was even rumored they had been courting the Coyotes before they tried to make Tempe work. They have another prime spot for development on the corner of loops 101/202. It’s another area where building an entire district would be possible. Another location should also be accessible to most of the Phoenix metro area.

These are also far from the only areas, just what seems the most likely. As more spots get talked about as legitimate, I will bring those up in future articles as well. Scottsdale, for example, has several areas that could work, but no specific spot has been mentioned. The Mesa spot is by far the most ideal location mentioned, but the Coyotes still have several locations available. And for the future growth of the game, getting the 5th largest metro area in the States to succeed would be instrumental in future TV deals, and as we’ve already started seeing with Matthew Knies and Auston Matthews, having the JR Coyotes program exist in the state will add future talent to the NHL. Moving the Coyotes from the area would be very shortsighted by the league. There is a fanbase here, and there is serious potential for growth as the team comes out of their rebuild.

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