Why the Coyotes are playing at a college rink: Team moved to new Arizona State arena

Why the Coyotes are playing at a college rink: Team moved to new Arizona State arena

The Coyotes will finally have their home opener for the 2022-23 season on Friday as they host the Jets, only this game will have a much more collegiate feel to it. 

It will be the Coyotes’ first game at Arizona State’s Mullett Arena, the temporary home of Arizona’s NHL club. 

Having a successful franchise in the desert has been a struggle for the NHL since the franchise moved there from Winnipeg in 1996. The Coyotes have consistently had one of the lowest sellout rates in the league, which resulted in a falling out with the city of Glendale that forced the team to find a new home.

Despite discussions about potential relocation, commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHL are adamant that they can make it work in Arizona. Having the club play on a college campus is the latest attempt at keeping the franchise afloat. 

An NHL game hasn’t been played at the facility yet, and people online are already bashing the rink. It was revealed that, for the Coyotes’ first four games at Mullett Arena, the away teams would be required to use temporary locker rooms while construction of the visitor’s dressing room continued. The concept sounded bad enough, and then photos and videos were posted. 

The team isn’t letting the negative reception get to it. In fact, forward Christian Fischer said the players “love” the arena and expect a fun environment. 

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Mullett Arena will be the team’s home for the next three seasons, so fans better get used to it, and fast. 

Where do the Coyotes play?

Starting this season, the Coyotes will play their home games at Arizona State’s Mullett Arena in Tempe, Ariz. The club will play in the new facility through the 2024-25 season, with an option for a fourth season in 2025-26. 

The franchise previously resided in Glendale at Gila River Arena, which has since been rebranded as Desert Diamond Arena. 

Why are the Coyotes playing at Arizona State’s Mullett Arena?

The 2021-22 NHL season was the final one for the Coyotes’ lease at Gila River Arena. The city of Glendale elected not to renew the deal and ended its relationship with the organization. 

In need of a new arena, the team announced last February that it was entering into a partnership with Arizona State to play games at the university’s new multipurpose facility, Mullett Arena. 

The two sides agreed that the Coyotes would play their home games in Tempe for the 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons. There is a mutual option for 2025-26. 

The organization is in the process of finding a new full-time arena for the team. 

What is the capacity at Mullett Arena?

Mullett Arena has an official capacity of 5,025, but the facility is likely to hold between 4.800 and 5,000 fans for NHL games. 

The Coyotes will have a 400-seat student section in the arena. There is also a standing-room section that can hold about 300 people but may be expanded. 

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Coyotes home schedule

After playing their first six games of the season on the road, the Coyotes begin a four-game home stand with their home opener on Friday, Oct. 28. After those four games, the team will hit the road for over a month, playing 14 away contests from Nov. 5 through Dec. 7. 

DateOpponentTime (ET)
Fri., Oct. 28Jets10:30 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 30Rangers8 p.m.
Tue., Nov. 1Panthers10 p.m.
Thu., Nov. 3Stars10 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 9Bruins9:30 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 11Flyers7 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 16Islanders9:30 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 17Sabres9 p.m.
Mon., Dec. 19Canadiens10 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 23Kings9:30 p.m.
Tue., Dec. 27Avalanche9 p.m.
Thu., Dec. 29Maple Leafs9 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 8Penguins7 p.m.
Tue., Jan. 10Sharks9:30 p.m.
Thu., Jan. 12Senators9 p.m.
Tue., Jan. 17Red Wings9 p.m.
Thu., Jan. 19Capitals9 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 22Golden Knights8 p.m.
Tue., Jan. 24Ducks9 p.m.
Thu., Jan. 26Blues9 p.m.
Mon., Feb. 6Wild9 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 15Lightning9 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 19Blue Jackets8:30 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 22Flames10 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 26Predators7 p.m.
Tue., Feb. 28Blackhawks9 p.m.
Fri., March 3Hurricanes9:30 p.m.
Sun., March 5Devils7 p.m.
Tue., March 7Blues9 p.m.
Thu., March 9Predators9 p.m.
Sun., March 12Wild9:30 p.m.
Tue., March 14Flames10 p.m.
Thu., March 16 Canucks10 p.m.
Sat., March 18Blackhawks10:30 p.m.
Sun., March 26Avalanche3 p.m.
Mon., March 27Oilers10 p.m.
Fri., March 31Stars10:30 p.m.
Sat., April 1Sharks10 p.m.
Sat., April 8Ducks5:30 p.m.
Mon., April 10Kraken10 p.m.
Thu., April 13Canucks10 p.m.