A request for proposals issued by the City of Tempe last week appears to be the latest development in the Arizona Coyotes’ years-long drive to leave Gila River Arena in Glendale for what it envisions to be the greener pastures of the East Valley.
The RFP wants a sports team or its partners to put a sports arena, 1,000 residential units and 200KSF of supporting retail, along with amenity space, on 46 acres at the NEC of Priest Drive and Rio Salado Parkway. Team representatives have said they will respond to the proposal.
The location is currently a City-owned compost yard. The Tempe Engineering Department had previously noted the site’s economic development potential, saying the City could spend nearly $70M to redevelop the location, but doing so could yield approximately $260M over the course of 30 years.
City officials have said the goal is a privately funded arena and a public-private partnership for the other components. They hope to receive a comprehensive proposal by the end of August.
The Coyotes are currently in a year-to-year lease at Gila River Arena. The team’s relationship with Glendale has been strained for years, and the team has long sought a new location, claiming most of its fans live in the East Valley and moving across town would improve attendance and ticket sales.
The current round of discussions between the Coyotes and Tempe date to at least 2019, and multiple officials from both organizations have been involved in moving the project forward. The two entered into a nondisclosure agreement in September 2020 and are working with Matt Jensen from Salt Lake City-based CRE company The Boyer Company. (Source)