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Monday, October 2, 2023

Tempe voters reject Arizona Coyotes’ recreational district proposal


sign pointing to tempe town lake

Tim Agney/KJZZ

46 acres located at the northeast corner of Priest Drive and Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe.

On Tuesday, Tempe voters rejected a series of ballot measures that would have created a new venue for the Arizona Coyotes.

City officials said the hockey rink and recreational area will not be moving forward.

The proposals would change Tempe’s master plan, repurpose the landfill and greenlight a development agreement with the Coyotes.

But an opposing group called Tempe 1st declared victory over the NHL team and those pushing the project.

Leader Dawn Penich-Thacker said the results send a clear message to the Tempe City Council and potential developers.

“Residents really care about our community, and we want to have a say in how our city continues to grow,” she said.

Supporters of a multibillion-dollar proposal gathered miles away from the Tempe 1st crowd.

They briefly heard from Coyotes President and CEO Xavier Gutierrez, who called voters’ decision disappointing.

Xavier Gutierrez

Matthew Casey/KJZZ

Arizona Coyotes president and CEO Xavier Gutierrez read a statement to supporters on election night, May 16, 2023.

“Over the next several weeks, our owners and the NHL will evaluate the franchise’s next steps,” he said.

Gutierrez did not answer reporters’ questions.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bateman says Last month, he didn’t want to think about what would happen if the ballot measure failed.


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