Tempe voters reject proposed Coyotes arena and entertainment district

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Tempe voters rejected the proposed $2.1 billion Coyotes arena and entertainment district. What does this mean for the City of Tempe? Sam Kmack of The Arizona Republic and AZCentral.com discussed the next steps for Tempe.

Tempe residents voted on three different ballot propositions that combined would have approved the Arizona Coyotes’ new hockey arena as well as a new entertainment district. The 46-acre space was formally a landfill and currently holds a city municipal operations yard.

The most surprising thing about the outcome of this vote was just how far apart the vote was, Kmack said. People voted on three different ballot propositions, and all three put together would have facilitated the development of the 46-acre Coyotes arena and Tempe entertainment district. The area right now is not garnering any money.

“It seems like it wasn’t persuasive enough, what the Coyotes were selling,” Kmack said.

The Coyotes might have overpromised in certain areas, according to Kmack, especially in the sense that there would be zero risk to Tempe and also that this area would bring in a large amount of money and jobs.

Where will the Coyotes play?

“I’m not sure yet. I don’t think they know either,” Kmack said. “Next year for sure it looks like they’re going to definitely be at the Mullett Arena. Beyond that, I don’t think anybody really knows.”

Concerning a Plan B for the 46 acres, there is not a set idea for what can be done to change it in order to garner money. It depends on how Tempe wants to tackle the ideas, Kmack said.

“Some of the council members released a joint statement last night saying they were going to have public meetings and things to try and identify good options later this year, so we’ll have to see what they come up with,” Kmack said.

Sam Kmack, The Arizona Republic and AZCentral.com

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