As the Arizona Coyotes continue to search for a new interim venue after the upcoming season, their last month at Glendale’s Gila River Arena, more details have come to light regarding the team’s proposal to build a $1.9B mixed-use arena complex in Tempe.
The Coyotes were the only respondent to a Gila River Arena request for proposals to develop such a project at a Tempe-owned landfill site on the NWC of Priest Drive and Rio Salado Parkway.
According to published reports, the Coyotes’ two-phase project would create a total building area of 3.4MSF. Components include a 16,000-seat arena, 54KSF practice facility, 500 hotel rooms, more than 1,600 living units, 320KSF of office and 300KSF of retail.
Tempe is reviewing the team’s proposal and has not said when it may be accepted or rejected. The Coyotes have brought on architectural team Gensler and general contractor AECOM Hunt for the project.
Private financing would cover $1.7B of the $1.9B estimated price tag, with public infrastructure bonds totaling $200M taking care of the remainder, which would primarily be used to remediate the existing compost yard. Under the team’s proposal, Tempe would create a Community Facilities District and sell bonds to private investors. The bonds would be paid by parking revenue and sales taxes generated on the site.
One potential sticking point to the proposal is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Aviation officials have spoken out in opposition, expressing concerns about the project’s potential impacts on airport operations, growth and expansion.
The primary concern is the residential units and building heights. Coyotes officials have countered, saying heights will be below the caps set in federal regulations. Aviation officials noted opposition is sometimes withdrawn as project details emerge during the review process. (Source)