It's been said a million times now that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will do anything within his power to keep the Arizona Coyotes firmly put. He certainly added evidence to that claim Tuesday night while in Tempe to speak directly to City Council about a potential new home for the Coyotes.
At the Tempe City Council meeting where a vote is expected on the Arizona Coyotes new arena/entertainment district tonight, Gary Bettman says the team is willing to sign a 30-year non-relocation agreement.
He also says the league will bring a draft or all-star game to Tempe. - Chris Johnston, TSN
While there are certainly NHL teams with long-term agreements in place with their respective home arenas, a 30-year deal in Arizona, where hockey has yet to take a firm foothold, seems risky to say the least. That said, Bettman seems to have made it his personal mission to never have to move the Yotes, regardless of where the team's finances stand.
The Coyotes are currently playing at the home of the Arizona State University's Sun Devils hockey team, something that has become major meme material for fans of a more creative nature. The facility seats less than one third of the usual audience for an average NHL arena. Should Tempe City Council approve the motion that has been put forward at Tuesday night's meeting, the arena proposal will move on to a vote by residents of Tempe themselves. That is expected to take place sometime in May. Also worth noting from Bettman's appearance at the meeting, while meeting with reporters at City Hall in advance, he was met by a lone protester shouting out negative comments regarding the proposed development. Bettman told the protester he would meet with him one-on-one after he answered questions. He fulfilled that promise.