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Arizona Coyotes, aviation officials still disagree on proposed Tempe Entertainment District

By Vaughan Jones
Published: Friday, May 20, 2022 - 3:19pm

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Arizona Coyotes
A look at the Arizona Coyotes proposed Tempe arena and environs.

Developers for the proposed Tempe Entertainment District, which includes a new arena for the Arizona Coyotes, met again Thursday with Phoenix aviation officials.

At last month’s meeting, aviation representatives claimed the proposed heights of buildings and construction equipment would cause delays and millions of dollars in financial losses. Coyotes representatives called those claims “fabricated.”

Tom Karstetter is a former Federal Aviation Administration employee who now works as a consultant for the Coyotes. He says a crane of a similar height was used across the street from the district’s potential location.

“I wonder if this crane has received the same high level of scrutiny from the airport, the pilots association and the FAA that our cranes are getting,” said Karstetter.

Aviation representatives also expressed noise concerns for the construction of a luxury apartment building adjacent to the district, directly underneath a flight path.

Chad Makovsky is the director of aviation services for the city of Phoenix.

“They'll come to an event venue like this and be very excited about having a residence close to this venue. In six, eight months, 12 months, a year, two years, will decide that they really do not like living underneath a flight path, where flights will be taking off and landing as frequently as every 60 seconds,” said Makovsky.

Tempe City Council has not yet approved plans for the entertainment district, and most of the conversation surrounding its construction has taken place behind closed doors in executive meetings.

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