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Arizona Coyotes Take Legal Action Against City of Phoenix for Arena Dispute

For many years, the Arizona Coyotes have been the laughingstock of the NHL, especially since they were forced to relocate to Mullet Arena that seats roughly only 4,700 fans.

The Coyotes have been trying to get a new actual NHL Arena, including having Commissioner Gary Bettman basically beg tax payers to cover the bill. The Coyotes want to build in Tempe’s entertainment district and have filed a $2.3 billion claim against the city of Phoenix for breach of contract.

The city and Sky Harbor said the Tempe Entertainment District plan, which would include a new home arena for the Coyotes, could not include previously approved multifamily housing due to noise issues under airport flight paths.

“Phoenix City Hall’s bad behavior seems intended to preserve its downtown sports venue monopoly and has nothing to do with safety or soundness of the airport”, Coyotes CEO and President Xavier Hernandez said in a statement. “While Phoenix bureaucrats have allowed developers to build a basketball arena, a ballpark, and apartments in flight paths, when Tempe attempts to do the same a manufactured crisis arrives.”

The $2.3 billion in damages sought equals the value of the Tempe Entertainment District’s entitlement.

“Phoenix will respond in due course, but the developer restates the same arguments that the airport, and more importantly, the FAA has already debunked,» the city said in a statement. «At the same time, we can understand and appreciate the developer’s frustration. But their frustration is misdirected. They should be frustrated with Tempe.”

Many people are wondering why the Coyotes haven’t been relocated like other teams who have failed in the past, especially with Quebec and Houston both hoping to get an NHL team, particularly in Quebec where many people want to see the Nordiques return. We’ll have to wait and see how this pans out.

Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy
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