With the Arizona Coyotes (NHL) sorely in need of a temporary home after being kicked out of Gila River Arena after this season, Chase Field is reported as being in the running to host the team down the line.
We say down the line because the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks apparently isn’t in position to host the Coyotes in the 2022-2023 NHL season: between a regular season set in stone, a big Elton John concert following the season and potential World Baseball Classic play in 2023, Chase Field just isn’t available for the commitment needed to regularly host NHL hockey. So we’re talking the 2023-2024 NHL season at the earliest.
Here’s the background as to why the Coyotes need to find a new home: Basically, the city of Glendale and arena manager ASM have decided not to bring the team back after the current lease expires at the end of the current NHL season. Not that the Coyotes want to be there any longer than required: the team ownership has been searching for a new home in the East Valley for several years, finally breaking through with the city of Tempe for a new arena/mixed-use development. But the Coyotes will need to find a new home for at least two NHL seasons to bridge the gap between Glendale and Tempe. Footprint Center, home of the Phoenix Suns (NBA), is out of the question after the most recent renovations, and most of the other hockey venues in the Valley or even the entire state are too small. (Veterans Memorial Coliseum would seem to fit the bill; no, no idea why it’s not under consideration.)
This paucity of options is why Chase Field is in the mix, at least for the 2023-2024 NHL season. It’s not s totally wacky notion; remember, Tropicana Field–then the Florida Suncoast Dome, with the nickname of the Thunderdome–hosted the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning in 1993-1996. We’ve been covering the ongoing Coyotes saga at our Arena Digest site; read more here.