TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – The Arizona Coyotes need a new home, and the team hopes to build it in Tempe. So team executives issued a proposal to the Tempe City Council Thursday for a $2.1 billion state-of-the-art arena and entertainment district. It would be located along Tempe Town Lake, off Rio Salado Parkway and Priest Drive.
The special Tempe City Council meeting was held to determine whether the city wants to keep working with the team and its developer on making the project happen. Team officials told councilmembers that the development would be privately funded and create close to 7,000 new jobs. The project would include a 16,000-seat hockey arena, retail stores, restaurants, a sportsbook, hotels, apartments and office space.
Coyotes executives also released new renderings of the proposed arena. The renderings show the Tempe arena surrounded by 10 buildings to be used as hotels, offices or apartments. One of the photos also showed a strip of restaurants near a hotel building.
Representatives from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport also made a presentation, expressing concerns about apartments being built too close to the airport. The proposed site is less than 2 miles away from the runway at Sky Harbor, which has some pilots and airport representatives against the idea. Some pilots even spoke about residential buildings being built too high and interfering with air traffic.
Dozens of people gathered outside Tempe City Hall to let council members know how they should vote. Some Tempe residents support the development project, but others do not. Those for the proposal say it will bring jobs to the area and boost the local economy. However, those who vote no say it would bring too much traffic and increase the cost of living.
Olympian Lyndsey Fry was also in attendance at the meeting sporting her Coyotes jersey and showing her support for the proposal. Shane Doan, the Coyotes’ chief hockey development officer, also took to the stand to make his case. “We need a place that is our own and somewhere where they want us and hopefully we get can get down here and this is something that works,” said Doan.
Coyotes legend Shane Doan, who is the chief hockey development officer for the team, spoke at the public hearing to build a new arena for the Arizona Coyotes.
The City of Phoenix says their concerns aren’t about the arena. Instead, the proposed apartments go against their inter governmental agreement with Tempe. “Building the arena itself is no problem. That’s clear, we’ve made that abundantly clear. The issue is being houses next to the arena,” said J. Cabou, the attorney representing the City of Phoenix Aviation Department.
Ninety-five people signed up to speak at the meeting, but at least a dozen did not show up. A vote to continue discussions on the project is expected late Thursday night. If the council votes yes, negotiations will continue, but it’s not an approval of the project itself. If they vote no, the proposal is declined.
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