Could the Arizona Coyotes be moving to downtown Phoenix?

- The future of the Arizona Coyotes remains uncertain, but there is a new possibility the hockey team may be coming to downtown Phoenix. The City Council approved a $75,000 study on Talking Stick Resort Arena where the Phoenix Suns basketball team currently plays to see if the arena is also suitable for the Coyotes.

Not too long ago, Arizona State University pulled out of a possible deal that would bring the Coyotes to Tempe. The Coyotes called this arena home back in 1996.

This $75,000 study was approved at the February 15 City Council meeting. Those in favor of the study say it's a way to get their money's worth by looking at all future possibilities, including a hockey arena, while others who opposed the study say it's a waste of taxpayer dollars.

"If we're going to spend this money on the study then we should look into the possibilities of having a hockey arena," said Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski.

The study comes at a time when there's uncertainty surrounding where the Coyotes will call home next. The team needs to find a home by the end of next season. Nowakowski is in favor of the study.

"If we were going to remodel it, then we better remodel it so it's the nicest in the country and look at all of the different options," he said.

Councilman Jim Waring says this isn't the best way to spend taxpayer dollars.

"Frankly I just don't know why that's necessary again at a time when we're talking about we don't have enough money for schools and we don't have enough money for police officers. We seem to have unlimited money for stadiums." 

Waring says in the end, taxpayers could be footing the bill without having notice.

"The study is most likely going to show we would have to bulldoze our current arena to fit a hockey stadium in there. That matters because you have to go to voters to build a stadium. You do not necessarily have to go to voters to refurbish an existing stadium."       

Statement from Coyotes owner Anthony LeBlanc:
"We are open to exploring every economically viable solution in this market. The Coyotes sold out almost every game when we originally played downtown, and we are eager for the opportunity to explore such options with both the Suns and the City."

Nowakowski says the $75,000 for the study came from a city sports fund. They're hoping to start the study as soon as possible and it should be done in three to four months.
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