ASU's Multi-Purpose Arena to Host NHL's Arizona Coyotes
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State University and the Arizona Coyotes form the first agreement of its kind between a college team and NHL team in 100 years. The Coyotes need a temporary home ice to use while their proposed new arena and entertainment district advance through the development process. Approved by the Arizona Board of Regents on Thursday, that temporary home ice will be at Arizona State University's new multipurpose arena.
The last time an NCAA college team and an NHL team shared an arena was the Boston Bruins and Boston University from 1924-28 at Boston Arena, now known as Matthews Arena.
ASU's new 5,000-seat multipurpose arena will open in fall 2022 as the home for Sun Devil hockey, gymnastics and wrestling, and other events on its Tempe campus. The arena already includes two NHL regulation-size ice sheets.
Other improvements will now be made, at the Coyotes' expense, to prepare the arena to temporarily house Coyotes home games. These improvements include constructing coaches' rooms, equipment rooms, technology and other aspects of the new ASU arena according to NHL standards. The added cost is up to $19.7 million, which will be paid in advance by the Coyotes.
"We are glad that we were able to come to an agreement to provide the Coyotes with a temporary home while their new arena is built just a few miles away," said Morgan R. Olsen, ASU executive vice president, treasurer and CFO. "Our new multipurpose arena also will benefit from the addition of pro-level touches that will be paid for by the Coyotes but will remain with our building after they leave.
"We were already beyond excited to open this wonderful new ASU arena. This just makes it even more special," Olsen added.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Question: Will this be the new permanent home for the Coyotes?
Answer: No. The new ASU multipurpose arena holds 5,000 fans, far below what is needed by an NHL team. This will be a temporary solution for the team while its new arena is built nearby.
Q: When will the ASU multipurpose arena be completed?
A: The multipurpose arena will open in fall 2022. Construction began in December 2020 on the arena, which is on the east side of Packard Drive, near the former ASU baseball stadium. The arena should be completed by October. The additional space for the Coyotes will not be ready until December.
Q: What are the details of ASU's new multipurpose arena?
A: The new arena spans nearly 200,000 square feet and will accommodate a range of community, entertainment and athletic uses. The arena can be used for concerts, lectures, large-scale meetings, esports competitions and a variety of athletic events. The original approved project cost of $115 million will now be about $134 million, with up to $19.7 million coming from the Coyotes.
Q: How did the Coyotes become involved?
A: In December 2021, the Arizona Coyotes approached ASU to propose playing their 2022, 2023 and 2024 NHL home games at the newly constructed ASU multipurpose arena. The Coyotes need a temporary home due to the end of their lease agreement with the city of Glendale and the approximate three-year build time for their proposed new arena in Tempe.
Q: What exactly will be added to the project for the Coyotes?
A: The original ASU arena project now will include the construction of a two-story, approximately 15,000-square-foot annex adjacent to the northeastern edge of the arena. This annex will accommodate NHL-quality home and away team dressing rooms, training areas, equipment rooms, nutrition stations, coaches' work room, team storage and a fitness room.
In addition to the two-story annex building, several facility upgrades will be added to meet NHL requirements. These upgrades will include additional reserve chilling capacity for the ice plant, enhanced broadcasting infrastructure, modified dasher boards, media and medical services, and analytics and replay capabilities, as required by the NHL.
Q: What is the financial risk to ASU?
A: The university is comfortable that there is little to no risk for making the improvements requested to accommodate the Coyotes, as the team will pay upfront for any additional costs. The Coyotes will prepay all rent and expenses prior to each season to use the facility for that season.
Q: Did ASU build this facility for the Coyotes?
A: No. The Coyotes did not approach ASU until late 2021, when the multipurpose arena was already more than half built.
Q: How will Coyotes home games impact the scheduled home games for the ASU hockey team?
A: There will be no impact to the scheduled ASU hockey home games. ASU has scheduling priority.
Q: How will the second sheet of ice be used?
A: The second full-size ice sheet will be available for student use, as well as youth, adult and club hockey programming, providing an additional rink in the Valley. Arizona is one of the fastest-growing states for youth hockey participation in the country, according to USA Hockey.
Top photo of the ASU multipurpose arena on Feb. 14 by Charlie Leight/ASU News