Could a partnership between the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes and the Arizona State hockey program help to bolster the sport in the desert?
According to KTAR, both organizations are exploring their options.
While the Coyotes are looking to get out of Glendale, ASU athletic director Ray Anderson told radio station Arizona Sports 98.7 FM that a joint facility could be in the works.
The motivation comes from a desire to boost ASU’s hockey program. Anderson said that a new arena in downtown Phoenix could become viable because of ASU’s presence in the city.
“With a downtown campus, 15-20 minute train ride from our main campus, those are things that you have to think about,” Anderson said.
After a legal battle with the city of Glendale, the Coyotes began talks with other entities for a new place to play.
Antony LeBlanc, co-owner of the Coyotes, mentioned Arizona State as a potential partner in January.
“We need to partner with a community or institution that wants to be a partner and that’s the first and foremost thing,” LeBlanc said. “The good news is that all of the discussions we have had have been pretty open as have other organizations – be it the city of Phoenix or Tempe or Arizona State.”
Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton said that officials are considering a new arena for the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Coyotes to share. The current home of the Suns is not designed to facilitate hockey, but Stanton said that a new facility would have that capability.
“We are in active discussions with various entities for a new arena in Phoenix,” Stanton said.
Any new plans for an arena in Phoenix will have to be approved by voters.