Coyotes sue Phoenix for $2.3 billion after city files lawsuit over proposed entertainment district
The Arizona Coyotes are against the City of Phoenix and the battle for the team’s new sports district in Tempe is going to court. The Coyotes proposal includes building a new arena, entertainment district, and apartments on 42 acres of land in Tempe that used to be a landfill. Tempe citizens are supposed to vote on the project on May 16, but Phoenix and the Coyotes are now locked in a battle over its construction.
On March 28, Phoenix filed a lawsuit against the City of Tempe in Maricopa County Superior Court that was trying to kill the project. Phoenix argued that the project would violate an agreement on how close housing could be to Sky Harbor Airport, which is owned and operated by the City of Phoenix.
Although Sky Harbor initially agreed to the proposal, it came with certain conditions. Now, the city claims that Tempe has gone back on agreements not to oppose future airport growth or build housing near the airport. Sky Harbor say they are concerned the apartments in the entertainment district could be exposed to dangerously high noise levels.
On Wednesday, the Coyotes and Bluebird Development announced that they were going against Phoenix for $2.3 billion in damages. They issued a lengthy statement blasting Phoenix and Sky Harbor for trying to tank the new entertainment district.
“The Arizona Coyotes and its development arm, Bluebird Development, have had enough of Phoenix’s bullying bureaucrats,” the team said in its statement. “And now the City of Phoenix is facing a $2.3 billion claim after the broke his word and decided to undermine a plan to turn a dangerous Tempe-owned landfill into a new sports and entertainment district along Tempe Town Lake.
Coyotes President and CEO Xavier Gutierrez also issued a statement of his own. Gutierrez says Phoenix has been hypocritical by allowing other areas and residential housing to be built near the airport within its city limits.
“Phoenix City Hall’s misbehavior appears to be intent on preserving the city’s sports center monopoly and has nothing to do with the safety or stability of the airport,” Gutierrez said. Phoenix bureaucrats have allowed developers to build a baseball field, ballpark, and apartments in flight paths, when Tempe tries to do the same there will be a manufactured crisis.”
The Coyotes currently share Mullett Arena, a 5,000-seat arena, with the Arizona State hockey program. That’s where they will stay until they find a more permanent solution.