Photo of the Talking Stick Resort Arena atrium. Home of the Phoenix Suns.

Image Credit: Nick Bastian (CC BY-ND 2.0)

After the Arizona Coyotes and Gila River Arena renegotiated their current lease agreement, the Coyotes had since been pursuing a new home arena in Tempe, Arizona in partnership with Arizona State University. However, those plans have since fallen through after Arizona State University backed out of the plan. The Coyotes also suffered a major setback when Arizona state bill 1149 was not voted on. The bill would have provided the funding to build a new arena for the Coyotes in the Phoenix area. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has reiterated time and time again that the Coyotes will not be able to stay in Glendale, Arizona for the long term.

The Coyotes now have a sole owner after Andrew Barroway bought out the team’s minority shareholders several weeks ago. Both the NBA and NHL have made attempts to create a joint venture between the Phoenix Suns and the Coyotes so that the two can share a new home arena in the Phoenix area. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton has expressed support for a joint arena as well. The Suns currently play their home games at Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix. According to Robert Sarver, the Managing Partner of the Phoenix Suns, the Suns are more likely to renovate Talking Stick Resort Arena than to build a brand new arena. Sarver cited the rising costs involved with construction as one reason the Suns will stay at their current venue. Another reason is that Sarver feels basketball is an urban game and belongs in downtown Phoenix.

Photo of the court at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Home of the Phoenix Suns.

Image Credit: Kevin Ward (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Sarver also isn’t crazy about the idea of sharing an arena with the Arizona Coyotes. The Phoenix Suns and Arizona Coyotes shared Talking Stick Resort Arena from 1996 to 2003. The arena was formerly known as America West Arena and then the US Airways Center and is one of the oldest arenas in the NBA. There are currently 11 arenas that host both NHL and NBA teams under the same roof.

In the meantime, Phoenix area sports fans will be nervously supporting the Arizona Coyotes knowing that other major cities are hoping to lure the team to their city. Seattle, Washington are currently renovating the old KeyArena and hope to secure a hockey team in the near future. Quebec City in Canada already has an arena built for a hockey team but is a much smaller market than the NHL prefers. Houston, Texas could also be a potential landing spot for the Coyotes now that Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander has put the Rockets up for sale. Like Robert Sarver, Leslie Alexander has shown no interest in sharing the Toyota Center with an NHL team.





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