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Senate Panel Advances Bill For Arizona Coyotes To Use Tax Money To Build New Arena

Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 11:04am

A divided Arizona Senate panel has agreed to advance a bill setting up a way for the Arizona Coyotes to use tax money to help build a new arena. The hockey team is seeking the legislature’s help to escape Glendale.

The proposal from Sen. Bob Worsley of Mesa would enable what are called “community engagement” business districts of up to 30 acres. Within those zones, up to half of the 5 percent sales tax generated for the general fund, could be used to pay off bond debt for new stadiums or arenas. 

Worsley made it clear that the measure is for the Coyotes, who have a year-to-year lease on the taxpayer-funded Gila River arena, but want out of Glendale.

They prefer a new facility either in downtown Phoenix or on the Valley’s east side. A deal to build one on land owned by ASU in Tempe, fell through earlier this month.

The team said it will contribute in $170 million and expects the same amount from bond sales.

The Transportation and Technology committee approved the bill yesterday on a 6-1 vote to pass the measure on to the full Senate.