Tempe holds special city council meeting surrounding Coyotes proposed entertainment district

It was the first in a series of back-to-back meetings to give the Coyotes, Tempe officials and the public to present thoughts about the proposal.
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 7:28 AM MST
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TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The city of Tempe held a special city council meeting Tuesday night surrounding the Arizona Coyotes’ push for a new stadium and entertainment district. It was the first in a series of back-to-back meetings, giving Arizona Coyotes representatives, City of Tempe representatives, and the general public a chance to present more of their thoughts and research surrounding the proposed district.

When the Development Review Commission (DRC) met last week, they voted unanimously to recommend some zoning changes, including shifting the majority of the district from commercial to mixed-use zoning. At Tuesday night’s meeting, Coyotes President and CEO Xavier Gutierrez said this entertainment district would create about 7,000 jobs, where the median salary would be $50,000.

But throughout the process of promoting the benefits of the district, there have been multiple groups of people who oppose the new district, saying that it will create parking, traffic, and affordable housing issues. The City of Phoenix also continues to say that Tempe going ahead with the residential aspect of this district violates a nearly 30-year intergovernmental agreement between the two cities and the flight patterns for Sky Harbor Airport.

“This is our community,” Gutierrez said. “And we’re excited to present something that will be iconic and transformative for this community.”

“You’re talking about the first privately financed arena in the history of this entire state,” Mayor Corey Woods added. “It’s a big deal. Every other development that involves a sports team or an arena, the people in the county or the state regardless of if they see a game or buy a hat, your tax dollars are going to that entity.”

The next special city council meeting will take place next Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m., where they will vote on whether to allow the public to vote on the district next May.