The NHL could be coming to Houston, but competition is fierce

A report states that at least four cities are in the running and that all cities have readily available arenas for the Arizona Coyotes.

John Diaz, 11Alive Staff, Associated Press, KPNX Staff

9:48 AM CDT May 17, 2023

10:43 AM CDT May 17, 2023

HOUSTON — The Arizona Coyotes could be looking for a new home.

Voters in Tempe appeared to reject three different propositions that would have allowed developers to build a $2.3 billion complex that would’ve included a new arena for the Coyotes.

According to the proposition, the arena would’ve been surrounded by retail, entertainment, and residential spaces. The site would have been built in an area that is currently a city-owned landfill.

After the vote failed in Arizona, the NHL released a statement saying the league is “terribly disappointed by the results” and that it would “review with the Coyotes what the options might be going forward.”

According to an ESPN report, Houston is one of the cities on the shortlist for consideration after the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League left for Iowa in 2013, but competition is fierce.

Houston is the largest metro area in the United States without an NHL team and could offer up the Toyota Center as a home for the Coyotes. Atlanta is the second-largest metro without a hockey team. Salt Lake City, home to the Utah Jazz, and Kansas City, are also deemed viable options with available arenas.

Moving the Coyotes to Atlanta would be ironic after the Winnipeg Jets’ move to Phoenix in 1996. Atlanta was then awarded a franchise in 1997, the Thrashers, which moved to Winnipeg after 12 years.

The Coyotes shared a downtown Phoenix arena with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns after relocating from Winnipeg in 1996, then moved to Glendale’s Gila River Arena in 2003. But the Coyotes had a troubled tenure in the Phoenix suburb.

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