Barroway committed to Arizona, new arena: ‘No exit strategy here’

Posted: 18/07/2017 in NHL, Sports
Tags: , , , , ,
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A new arena situated on the right side of town is the final piece of the puzzle for the Arizona Coyotes.

That’s the stance of Coyotes’ owner Andrew Barroway, who spoke with Craig Morgan of Arizona Sports in a wide-ranging interview Friday, touching on several topics on a team that has had arguably hockey’s busiest offseason.

Barroway, who assumed full ownership of the Coyotes in June, reiterated his commitment to the Arizona market, noting a new arena is the next big step for the franchise.

“I made the decision to expand my ownership in the Coyotes for a few reasons,” Barroway said. “First, I love this team, I love hockey and I love being here in the Valley. I am a homeowner here. I voted here. We’re committed to Arizona long-term. This is where we want to be.

“We’re not relocating and I have no exit strategy here. My son would never forgive me. He (Jake) is transferring to the University of Michigan to study sports management and the plan is, when he is old enough, he’ll be the future governor (of the team). I’m not flipping it. This is a family enterprise.”

Barroway was on hand Thursday for a press conference introducing new head coach Rick Tocchet, as well as Steve Patterson, who the club appointed as president and CEO. Patterson is a familiar name to Arizona sports fans, as he was previously the athletic director at Arizona State University, most recently in 2013.

Patterson’s past experience with stadium projects, including the construction of NRG Stadium, home of the NFL’s Houston Texans, and the redevelopment of Portland’s Moda Center, the home court of the NBA’s Trail Blazers, will be a key resource as the Coyotes continue to work toward a new arena. This expertise, in addition to his ties to the Valley of the Sun, makes Patterson a key hire for the Coyotes.

“Steve has the combined skills and experience and local contacts to help go about it,” Barroway said. “Going forward on stadium stuff, we’ll do everything aggressively and privately and when we have a firm deal to announce, we’ll announce it.

“I think people want to know when it’s a done deal. They don’t need to live through the daily drama of it. There’s no benefit to discussing it publicly until you have something to report. You’re not going to get any false timelines from us, but trust me, I get up in the morning thinking about a new stadium and I go to sleep thinking about a new stadium.”

The Coyotes certainly have the support of the NHL, particularly commissioner Gary Bettman, who according to Barroway described Arizona as a “home run” hockey market if a new stadium can come to fruition.

The Coyotes are in search of a new arena after the city of Glendale voted to end the team’s long-term lease agreement at Gila River Arena, where it’ll continue to play on a year-to-year basis.

The Coyotes hope to have a new arena in the East Valley, closer to most of the team’s fan base and corporate sponsors. Past proposals have included a site on the campus of Arizona State, and reportedly a shared facility with the NBA’s Suns in downtown Phoenix. The two clubs previously shared an arena prior to the Coyotes’ move to Glendale in 2003.

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