From The Ice

Arizona Coyotes Reportedly Close to New Arena Deal

David Berding/Icon Sportswire

Arizona Coyotes fans have been put through the ringer in the last decade.

With a bankruptcy scandal and league ownership in their past, the drama resurfaced in the summer of 2015 when the City of Glendale opted to vote for the termination of a 15-year arena lease agreement they’d signed with the Coyotes just two years prior.

It brought about a restructured two year deal between the NHL team and the city in Western Phoenix, Arizona, but the Coyotes made it clear at that point that new arena options were much more of a priority for them than trying to make a go of it with the COG.

Now, just six months later, it sounds like good news is in the very near future.

ESPN’s Scott Burnside reported that the Pacific Division club is nearing an agreement to build a new arena on the east side of Phoenix, likely partnering with Arizona State University to build a venue that could house more than just the Coyotes in the coming years. By the end of the season – if not sooner, it’s expected that ICE Arizona CEO Anthony LeBlanc will have good news regarding a future home for the club in a location much closer to the majority of the fanbase.

“Commissioner Gary Bettman was given an update on the process before the NHL’s board of governors meeting in Nashville on Saturday morning.

Without going into specifics of a potential new home, Bettman said he is optimistic the team will find something in the Phoenix area.

“It certainly looks that way,” Bettman told ESPN.com Saturday after addressing the media at the NHL’s All Star weekend.

It’s expected the deal will be finalized in the next couple of months, certainly before the end of the regular season.”

Burnside reported that the timeline for a new arena to be completed sits around three years, giving the Tempe area a new sports venue by roughly the start of the 2019-2020 season. It was also reported that, while the Coyotes had initially been engaged in preliminary talks with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, it looks like a partnership with NCAA Division I school ASU (who now boast a Division I men’s hockey program) is the deal that’s most likely to come into fruition.

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