Could Tempe finally be poised to land the professional sports franchise he has sought for years, as the centerpiece of a new arena and entertainment district on 46 acres owned by the city around the corner? northeast of Priest Drive and Rio Salado Parkway?
The Arizona Coyotes of the National Hockey League have said they plan to respond to a request for a proposal from Tempe for the site, which is likely to be a multi-billion dollar package.
The city has set a deadline of August 19 for responses to its tender, in which it is looking for a project that integrates a professional sports franchise and an entertainment district for two plots on the site.
The Coyotes play at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, where their relationship with that town, owner of the building, has been difficult for years. Although it is adjacent to State Farm Stadium, where the Arizona Cardinals play, as well as the Westgate Entertainment District, a food / shopping complex owned by Bob Parsons of PXG Golf and formerly known to Go Daddy, the hockey team is only a tenant of the arena.
In this potential Tempe venture, he could reap the benefits of ancillary development.
“Based on the location of the site, the Coyotes are very interested in this development opportunity and will respond to the City of Tempe’s request for proposal,” the Coyotes said in a statement. âGiven our determination to stay in the Valley for many years to come, we are actively working to identify the best long-term home for the Coyotes, our dedicated fans and this great community. “
Tempe said all respondents’ bids will be evaluated for expected economic impacts, job creation, public interest, neighborhood impacts and traffic.
The site is located just off Loop 202 adjacent to the Salt River and just west of the Tempe Arts Center and Tempe City Lake.
The city has tried for years to land a professional sports team. The Cardinals’ training center is in South Tempe, on Warner and Hardy Roads, and the team first played their home games at Arizona State’s Sun Devil Stadium before heading to Glendale.
When the Cardinals were looking to leave Sun Devil Stadium, new stadium venues were offered in Tempe on Interstate 10 and Warner Roads, as well as on grounds in the general area of ââthis RFP. The I-10 / Warner Road site was rejected as too small, and the site along the river encountered a strong backfire from Phoenix due to its proximity to the Phoenix Sky International Airport flight path Harbor.
The latter could be an obstacle again. Another could be site clean-up, which could be costly due to environmental concerns.
Glendale, which is at risk of losing its main arena tenant, said in a statement that the city “has been working since last year with the Arizona Coyotes and our arena manager, ASM Global, to determine if conditions a long-term agreement can be reached to allow the Coyotes to continue playing in the Gila River Arena.
âWe remain committed to this goal,â the Glendale statement continued. âThe highly recognized successes of our growing sports and entertainment district provide fans and visitors with an immersive experience. The city believes Gila River Arena is the best place for the Coyotes’ future success.
Tempe City Council has the ultimate power to accept or reject proposals for additional work and negotiation on its plots. It is possible during a tendering process that no respondent will be chosen to proceed, the city said.
It is not yet known whether other entities will respond to the RFP.
The RFP was posted on tempe.gov/procurement.