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COYOTES CLOSING IN ON SECURING A TEMPORARY HOME

JAN 27, 2022  (11H52)      COOPER GODIN
According to Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports, the Arizona Coyotes are in advanced talks with Arizona State University to share their 5,000-seat arena as a temporary home for the next few years.

The deals currently being worked out with ASU is for three years, but includes an option for a fourth year.

When asked if the NHL would give the Coyotes approval to play at ASU's hockey arena, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said, "(It) depends on the totality of circumstances, but I wouldn't rule it out."

"While we have arena standards, we would approach the entire situation in a way intended to accommodate the club's needs in effectuating a successful transition to a new venue," Daly said. "While there may very well be some, I can't think of any hard and fast rules that couldn't be relaxed to accommodate what is necessary."

One issue with a move to ASU's arena is that due to NCAA rules, the Coyotes won't be able to use the Sun Devils' hockey team areas and would have to build their own.

"Due to NCAA compliance issues, the Coyotes would not be permitted to use Sun Devil hockey's team areas. They would have to build their own, without contribution from ASU, which does not need the extra areas or it would have already built them. One source estimated that cost between $15 and $20 million, with all of that money coming out of owner Alex Meruelo's pocket," Morgan said.

Another issue would be scheduling, as one source told Morgan, the Sun Devils would still get priority on when they can use the venue.

"Scheduling will be another issue for the Coyotes. Sun Devil hockey's schedule is already in place for the 2022-23 season and ASU hockey will maintain priority for all future dates, a source said. ASU has 24 home dates next season and all of them are on Friday or Saturday with 7 p.m. starts. The Coyotes would need to work around that schedule with some less than optimal dates."

The Coyotes are still negotiating with Tempe City Council on a new arena, but it appears to have hit a snag. Earlier this month, Morgan reported that the Coyotes didn't have the votes from Tempe City Council to proceed with their arena proposal, with the team's negative news being a big issue, including their late payments to the City of Glendale over the last year. Those payments have since been made.

Arizona must vacate Gila River Arena by June 30th, so there is a sense of urgency to get something done in terms of a temporary home.

Source: Craig Morgan - PHXN Sports