Bettman voices support for Coyotes’ new arena plan

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) – NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman believes an upcoming vote on a new arena could finally put an end to the relocation rumors that have followed the Arizona Coyotes for years.

“Once this project is built, this team is never going anywhere,” Bettman said on Thursday. “It’s going to be here forever.”

Bettman traveled to Arizona to voice support for the proposed Tempe Sports and Entertainment District, which would include a new arena for the Coyotes.

The Coyotes have a three-year deal to share Arizona State’s 5,000-seat Mullett Arena and have worked with the city of Tempe to build the entertainment district.

The development is set to go to referendum next month, but it hit a snag when the city of Phoenix and Sky Harbor International Airport asked in a legal filing that the entertainment district not include multifamily housing due to noise issues under airport flight paths.

The Coyotes and owner Alex Meruelo countered by filing a $2.3 billion notice of claim against the city of Phoenix for alleged breach of contract.

“This development is going to enhance the community,” Bettman said. “It’s going to create jobs. It’s going to create a greater identity than Tempe already has. It’s something the Coyotes need. Frankly, I’m having trouble understanding what the downside of it is.”


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