On the Brink of a Rink? Not So Fast ASU

Photo: ASU’s primary home, Oceanside Arena, has a capacity of 840 fans 

Press reports continue to circulate about a new hockey arena for Arizona State University – but there are plenty of challenges that must be met before a new facility becomes a reality for the Sun Devils.

Various news reports have come out of Arizona stating that the Arizona Coyotes are about to enter into an agreement on a new hockey complex in Tempe. In our June article Arizona State Unfurls Plans for Possible On-Campus Arena, we reported on a 200 acre Arizona State University parcel, a former golf course, owned by the University that was expected to include a new ASU hockey arena.

Now it appears that the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes want to join the Sun Devils on the tract with a dual hockey complex with two arenas, one for each team.

According to Arena Digest.com, the venue would be constructed on ASU’s former Karsten Golf Course at a cost of $400 million. Along with a 16,000-seat arena for the Coyotes, the project includes an adjacent arena that would host ASU hockey. The Coyotes have said they could contribute up to $200 million for the project.

Not so fast.

Ultimately, the proposal requires the approval of the ASU board of regents (ARBOR) who would need to approve any changes to the original master development plan and sign off on any lease agreements. The proposal would also need approval from Arizona state lawmakers when they convene in January. The Coyotes have said they do not yet have any lawmakers lined up to push the needed legislation. The NHL franchise would also need further concessions from ASU as part of a land lease.

Finally, according to AZ Central the Phoenix Mayor, Greg Stanton, is not pleased with the proposal either. Stanton is pushing for a new hockey/basketball arena in downtown. So the Tempe proposal is far from a done deal and could be used by the Coyotes as negotiating leverage between the Phoenix and Tempe projects.

“A deal is far from complete, and appears to require new levels of support from both state of Arizona and City of Tempe taxpayers,” Stanton said. “My thinking hasn’t changed: Building a third professional arena in this market doesn’t make sense, especially when it would likely require new public dollars as a part of the deal.”

Still, it looks like it will be a few more years and many more battles until a new ASU arena becomes a reality. If successful, the Arena would open for the 2019-2020 season at the very earliest. Until then, the Coyotes will keep playing in Glendale.

Denver faces off against the Sun Devils for the first time in the programs’ history January 6th and 7th at Magness Arena.

6 thoughts on “On the Brink of a Rink? Not So Fast ASU”

  1. Not sure why ASU can’t use the current Coyotes arena once in a while as the program goes through growing pains.
    FYI, I played the Karsten Ping Golf Course. It was Ping’s gift to ASU. Then ASU basketball coach Bill Freider was hanging out there that day for a fundraising luncheon.
    Sports history lesson for those too young to remember: Freider became famous when he accepted the ASU job before his University of Michigan season ended. He wanted to coach Michigan in the tourney. AD Bo Schembechler said in his gruff voice: I want a Michigan man coaching Michigan. Thus assistant Steve Fisher became interim head coach for the NCAA Tournament. As luck would have it, Michigan won the National Championship that year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ASU can still use the current Coyotes Gila River arena for select games if they wish to rent it. ASU typically draws about 5,000 fans for those elect games, but the downside is that Gila River Arena is about 28 miles from the ASU Campus.

    I believe once the Sun Devils get a firmer arena deal, the NCHC will invite the program into the league, and I will be supportive of that move. ASU is a well known big sports brand, represents a big new market and will be a very attractive annual or biennial away trip game for Pioneers’ fans.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I just have to wonder why this is more important than DU continuing the Finnish recruiting pipeline. While he may not be another Borgstrom, DU recently picked up a very solid commit from Finland for next season.

    Up your game, girls…


  4. I see no hurry to let them in the league. They really have nothing to bargain with. They’re not really bringing anything to the table other than good weather.

    Liked by 1 person

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