Lightning Round: Tempe voters say no to new arena for Coyotes

That could have gone better for them.

Lightning Round: Tempe voters say no to new arena for Coyotes
Photo by Mario Losereit / Unsplash

Yesterday, voters in Tempe, Arizona went to the polls and voted on three propositions that would have allowed the Arizona Coyotes to move forward with their plan to build a new arena and entertainment district on a former landfill site. In a huge blow to the future of the team, those voters said no:

Following the 8:00 PM local time release of the ballot count, the Coyotes spoke with the press, conceding that the $2.1 billion project was scuttled.

President Xavier Gutierrez didn't answer questions after his brief statement  in which he stated "What is next for the franchise will be evaluated by our owners and the National Hockey League over the coming weeks."

They also released a statement on their website:

Could they develop another plan to build a new stadium in Tempe or elsewhere in the state? Possibly. Relocation could also be in the works if the current owners, led by Alex Meruelo, decide that it's time to sell despite buying the franchise just four years ago. Houston, Kansas City and Salt Lake City have been mentioned as possible locations for relocation or expansion.

This outcome throws a tremendous amount of doubt on the future of the organization, an organization that commissioner Gary Bettman has fought tooth and nail to keep in Arizona pretty much since the day they relocated their from Winnipeg. His office released a statement as well following news of the vote:

The initial ballot count was based mostly on early voting, but there likely weren't enough same day ballots to overcome the margins. A final tally should be released sometime this afternoon. Between this and the pending sale of the Ottawa Senators it's going to be an interesting summer for owners in the NHL.

Lightning / NHL News

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