The Show on KJZZ

Listen live weekdays at 9 a.m.

NHL commissioner again pitches new Arizona Coyotes venue to Tempe voters

By Matthew Casey
Published: Thursday, April 13, 2023 - 4:25pm
Updated: Friday, April 14, 2023 - 7:27am

Audio icon Download mp3 (1.23 MB)

Xavier Gutierrez
Matthew Casey/KJZZ
Xavier Gutierrez, president and CEO of the Arizona Coyotes, speaks at a news conference on April 13, 2023.

The fight between opponents and supporters of a plan to build a new home for the Arizona Coyotes as part of a Tempe entertainment district is getting dirty.

A group in favor of the project had to hastily move a Thursday news conference planned for outside a Goodwill store because they say opponents vandalized the site. 

“This is unacceptable actions by individuals who need to be held accountable,” said Xavier Gutierrez, president and CEO of the Arizona Coyotes.

Tempe police say investigators found that an unknown subject wrote “vote no” in chalk in about 25 parking spaces outside the Goodwill store, and the chalk has since been cleaned up.

Tempe’s special election is May 16, and residents are expected to soon start receiving their ballots.

At the same podium where Gutierrez spoke, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman quickly acknowledged his many trips to Arizona to talk about the Coyotes

“And as you all know, I’ve been doing it repeatedly and regularly for a long period of time,” he said.

Gary Bettman
Matthew CaseyKJZZ
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman stumps for building a new arena for the Arizona Coyotes as part of an entertainment district in Tempe.

Under Bettman’s leadership, the National Hockey League once bought the Coyotes out of bankruptcy.

If a new arena sprouts up in Tempe, it’ll be the team’s fourth home in less than 30 years in Arizona.

Bettman doesn’t want to think about what will happen to the Coyotes if voters reject the project.  

“That’s something I’d not like to contemplate right now,” he said.

Business Arts + Entertainment