Voters rejected three proposals that would have permitted the construction of a new arena for the Arizona Coyotes in Tempe, early polling results showed Tuesday
Developers hoped to build a $2.3 billion entertainment district in Tempe, and by a 56-44 split in early returns, voters opposed the proposition. The complex would include the Coyotes' new home in addition to retail, entertainment and residential space
"We are very disappointed Tempe voters did not approve Propositions 301, 302, and 303. As Tempe Mayor Corey Woods said, it was the best sports deal in Arizona history," Coyotes president and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez said in a statement. "The Coyotes wish to thank everyone who supported our efforts and voted yes
"So many community leaders stepped up and became our advocates and for that we are truly grateful. We also wish to thank the countless volunteers who worked so hard to try and make the Tempe Entertainment District a reality and the Tempe City Council for their support as well. While we wanted a different outcome, we remain grateful to all those who volunteered their time and talent.
"What is next for the franchise will be evaluated by our owners and the National Hockey League over the coming weeks."
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement, "The National Hockey League is terribly disappointed by the results of the public referendum regarding the Coyotes' arena project in Tempe. We are going to review with the Coyotes what the options might be going forward.
Tempe voters were asked whether they were willing to amend the city's plan for the project (Proposition 301) -- that was to be built near Priest Drive and Rio Salado Parkway -- if they approved of the rezoning of the property for the entertainment district (302) and whether to approve the project's development agreement (303).
12News reported that 29,000 ballots had been counted as of 8 p.m. local time on Tuesday, with 56 percent of those ballots responding "no" to Propositions 301 and 302, while 57 percent of voters said "no" to Proposition 303.
The Coyotes played the just-concluded season in Mullett Arena, a 5,000-seat facility at Arizona State University in Tempe. They played from 2003-2022 in a 17,125-seat arena in Glendale, Ariz., before the city ended its agreement with the hockey team
--Field Level Media