The Arizona Coyotes aren’t leaving the desert … yet.
Despite their arena referendum being defeated by Tempe voters on Tuesday night, the Coyotes confirmed to Daily Faceoff on Wednesday morning that it will remain at the 4,600-seat Mullett Arena on the Arizona State University campus for the 2023–24 season.
ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski was the first to report the news of the Coyotes staying in Arizona in the short-term, although he also indicated that the club has not yet formulated a long-term plan to stick around in Phoenix or the surrounding area.
The Coyotes have a standing three-year agreement with Arizona State University to play out of Mullett Arena, with an option for a fourth season. The deal took effect in the 2022–23 season, which saw the Coyotes sell out all 41 of their home games at the facility.
Mullett Arena was built to accommodate the Arizona State Sun Devils men’s ice hockey program, which plays in NCAA Division I competition. Captained by Coyotes prospect Josh Doan, the Sun Devils also moved into Mullett Arena in time for the 2022–23 season.
The Coyotes had sought to build a $2.1 billion arena and entertainment district in Tempe, but those plans were defeated by more than 56% of voters in Tuesday’s referendum. The team previously played out of the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale from 2003 to 2022.
Before that, the Coyotes shared what is now known as the Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix with the Phoenix Suns. That arena has since been renovated to remove its capability to host a hockey team.
Coyotes president Xavier Gutierrez addressed the media in Tempe on Tuesday evening, saying the club will evaluate what is next alongside the National Hockey League “in the coming weeks.” Neither Gutierrez nor the NHL publicly committed Tuesday to the team remaining in Arizona.
Speculation has already run rampant about potential relocation markets, such as Salt Lake City or Atlanta, if the Coyotes are unable to secure a backup solution in the Valley. But, at the very least, they’ll stay in Tempe next year.