Tempe to Negotiate Hockey Proposal


June 2 meeting photo with fan 740

The City of Tempe will negotiate with proposers of a professional sports entertainment development on city land, a process that is expected to take several months.

If negotiations are successful, a development agreement will be drafted, and there will be a robust process of public input at public meetings prior to a City Council vote.

The City Council voted tonight to move forward with negotiations, with Mayor Corey Woods, Vice Mayor Randy Keating and Councilmembers Jennifer Adams, Robin Arredondo-Savage, and Joel Navarro voting yes and Councilmembers Lauren Kuby and Doreen Garlid voting no. The vote tonight is not final approval of the project itself; rather it is a step in the process.

Tempe issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a professional sports entertainment district on July 22, 2021. One proposal, by the Meruelo Group and the Arizona Coyotes through their affiliate, Bluebird Development, LLC., was received on Sept. 2, 2021. Since that time, city staff members have been analyzing the proposal with the assistance of sports, legal and financial consultants as part of its intensive due diligence process.

Now, the proposal to build a professional hockey arena, hotels, offices, retail and residential on 46 acres of city land will proceed to a formal negotiation phase. This will include exploring costs for infrastructure needs, tax abatements, traffic analysis, safety and more, as well as working with Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Before voting, the City Council heard presentations from the RFP respondent and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Councilmembers also heard from more than 250 people through in-person and virtual appearances as well as pre-submitted comment cards. For the first time, Councilmembers were able to ask questions of the respondent about the proposed development.

On Friday by approximately noon, the meeting video will be processed for viewing here – click on “City Council Meetings” at the bottom of the page. Later in the day, it will also be available here.

The city will continue to maintain all updated information here.

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