Coyotes CEO Xavier Gutierrez on proposed Tempe hockey arena and entertainment district

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Tempe residents are set to vote May on a $2.1 billion deal with the Arizona Coyotes on a new hockey arena and entertainment district to be built on city owned land west of Tempe Town Lake. This as the Coyotes are closing out their first season away from their previous home in Glendale. Coyotes president and CEO Xavier Gutierrez sits down with Ted to discuss the future of the team.

“This is the right place, this is the right deal, this is the right project, and we’re excited about actually putting our money where our mouth is, in order to make the first privately funded sports and entertainment district in the history of Arizona,” said Gutierrez.

The project includes apartments and an entertainment district in addition to the area. The deal also sets space for two hotels and a medical office. It is proposed to take place land that is currently a city owned land fill on Priest Drive and Rio Salado Drive.

“This is really not just a sports deal, this is really a best-in-class urban development deal,” said Gutierrez. “It’s an opportunity to turn a land-fill into a land mark for the entire valley.”

Critics of the deal say it is a risky deal and that there are more than $500 million in tax breaks. Gutierrez does not agree.

“We don’t agree with that number at all,” said Gutierrez. “Our land, our private investment and improvements will be the sole guarantee of these non-rated, non-government-backed community facility district bonds.”

According to Gutierrez, this would be the first time in Arizona history that a sports and entertainment venue will not use tax-payer dollars to be built.

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