May 01, 2022

Arizona Coyotes Are Moving to a 5,100-Seat Arena: The Arizona Coyotes are moving next season to a not-yet-finished arena at Arizona State University that will seat 5,100 fans. During the three years it will be there, the team will compensate by charging fans much higher prices. The team hopes to get an arena deal in Tempe after Glendale commissioned a study that found the arena would generate more economic benefit if NHL hockey wasn't played there.

posted by rcade to hockey at 09:23 PM - 9 comments

So there are already 3 >15,000 person sports arenas in Phoenix (Gila, Footprint, Veterans)? And the Coyotes will build one more. I don't understand economics at all.

Their average attendance is 11,000, not much less than Winnipeg, but there is always a bunch of skullduggery with those kinds of figures. Anyway if they have 5,000 hardcore fans and they can make a super loud rink with great seats for the next few years it could be a sort of cult thing. If they have to turn away 6,000 people who would otherwise go to the game for the next three years that might be hard to recover from. The Coyotes have a stupid number of draft picks the next year or two and it's possible in three years they will have a great team.

My local junior team seats about 6,000 for hockey and all the seats are great and it's a good atmosphere when it's >5000 present. Other than the optics, it'd probably be a pretty good experience to go see an NHL game in that kind of stadium.

posted by rumple at 10:07 PM on May 01, 2022

I don't understand why the NHL values a team here so much. Atlanta only got 12 years before losing its team. Arizona has been around for 26 and is still a mess.

posted by rcade at 08:50 AM on May 02, 2022

So Jets attendance this year was limited by Covid controls. There were games with no fans and most of the season was limited to 50% attendance. Was only around the last 10 games where full attendance (for fully vaccinated) was allowed and by that time they were 10 or 12 points out of the race.

Arizona isn't ever going to draw well no matter how good they are. The NHL must be banking on the snowbirds attending Leafs, Habs, Flames, and Oilers away games during the winter. That team should be in Quebec City or possibly even Hartford.

It is still easier for Habs fans to buy tickets to see away games in Tampa and Florida than it is to see a home game in Montreal.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:19 AM on May 02, 2022

If that Glendale study was conducted well, it's hard to imagine why they team thinks they could expect substantially different results in Tempe.

posted by bender at 02:01 PM on May 02, 2022

Having lived between Alberta and Arizona for many years, there is a good collection of snowbirds that make that journey. Though, I cannot imagine many would switch allegiance from their northern childhood team to the Coyotes.

posted by prof at 02:31 PM on May 02, 2022

Certainly would not switch allegiance. But if they are hockey fans they would probably attend a few games when their northern/etc favourite teams travelled to Arizona.

posted by cixelsyd at 02:43 PM on May 02, 2022

As you folks may already know, Raleigh and surrounding environs are mostly transplants from all over the country (and my current town, Cary, transplants from all over the world, especially the Indian subcontinent). Of all the years that I have been going to games, the one thing that I have noticed at certain Hurricanes games (Chicago, Detroit, New York state, Pennsylvania, Boston, etc) are the adults wearing their lifetime team's jersey but their kids are all wearing Hurricanes gear. Whenever I go to a game these days, the crowd skews *much* younger than when I was going to games in the 2000 aughts. Been a much more rowdy crowd, too. It takes generations, and generations of championships, to get to Montreal's level of devotion to a team.

posted by NoMich at 03:14 PM on May 02, 2022

I worry that the NHL's persistence in fielding a team in Arizona will inspire some desert nation with suitcases full of cash to seek to do something inappropriate such as host a World Cup.

posted by beaverboard at 04:37 PM on May 02, 2022

That'll never happen.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:31 PM on May 03, 2022

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