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Coyotes could use tax money in potential move to Phoenix, Senators eying downtown arena

Jared Clinton
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Max Domi (Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

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Coyotes could use tax money in potential move to Phoenix, Senators eying downtown arena

Jared Clinton
By:

The Arizona Coyotes could be leaving Glendale and a move to Phoenix could require some taxpayer funding. Meanwhile, the Senators continue to look at a potential move to downtown Ottawa and could be coming closer to locking up a site for the new building.

The Arizona Coyotes have been weighing their options with regard to a potential move out of Glendale and back to Phoenix, but heading back to the state’s capital might mean taxpayers have to help with a new arena deal.

According to NBC Arizona’s Brahm Resnik, Coyotes CEO Anthony LeBlanc says the team would be willing to put up its own money for a new downtown arena, but that they’d also expect taxpayers to pitch in.

“Would we be looking for a local government or a state government to be involved in the creation of the facility? Of course,” Leblanc told Resnik. “Most facilities outside of markets like New York City are built with some level of public involvement. The City of Phoenix has been very open about that as something they're exploring. I think it has to be a public-private partnership.”

The Coyotes could leave Glendale as soon as the beginning of the 2017-18 season to head to Phoenix, where there’s potential for the team to share a building with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and Arizona State University’s basketball and hockey teams.

"We're not saying that Glendale has no shot of keeping the Coyotes, but admittedly it's pretty low right now," LeBlanc told Resnik. "The City of Phoenix and the City of Tempe have shown tremendous interest, so we have had extensive discussions.”

Leblanc said that the Suns could be the most important part of getting an arena deal done in Phoenix. Leblanc said he believes “from their perspective it's better if there's multiple teams involved,” adding it’s a model other major sports cities use. Several NHL teams share a building with an NBA team, including the Los Angeles Kings (Lakers, Clippers), Chicago Blackhawks (Bulls), New York Rangers (Knicks) and Toronto Maple Leafs (Raptors).

The Coyotes aren’t the only team eying up a new building, though. The Senators have been rumored to be looking at a location closer to downtown Ottawa, which would signal a move away from the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata, Ont.

CTV News Ottawa reported Wednesday that the Senators are part of a group that has placed one of two bids for the chance to develop the LeBreton Flats site west of downtown Ottawa. Surprisingly, however, the opposing bid to develop the area, which has been submitted to the National Capital Commission by DCDLS Group, also proposes a brand new arena on the site.

“The chances of the (Senators) moving downtown have skyrocketed,” said CTV’s Matt Skube.

Even if the Senators don’t win the bid, there’s potential for the team to strike a deal with whichever group develops the land — DCDLS or otherwise — and get a new downtown arena. The Canadian Tire Centre is 19 years old this season and is situated more than 25 kilometres (15.5 miles) outside of downtown Ottawa.

Both proposals for the LeBreton Flats site will be on display to the public Jan. 26-27 at the Canadian War Museum. It could take a while before a decision is reached on how the land will be developed and who will be at the helm, though, as Skube reported the NCC’s decision could take anywhere from four months to a year.

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Coyotes could use tax money in potential move to Phoenix, Senators eying downtown arena