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Would you pay $100 to watch the worst team in the NHL in the worst seat in the arena? Well, the Arizona Coyotes want you to.
On Thursday, the Coyotes unveiled season-ticket prices for next season at Arizona State University's new hockey arena, where they will be playing their home games through 2024-25 with an option for the 2025-26 season.
The Arizona Coyotes have released season ticket prices for their inaugural season at the 5,100-seat capacity ASU arena pic.twitter.com/mwxYuUOsbe
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) April 21, 2022
The most inexpensive seat in the 5,100-seat arena is in the section nicknamed “The Den” and will run a full-season ticket holder $89 per game before any fees. In comparison, the most inexpensive single-game ticket at Gila River Arena this season is $54.50.
The Coyotes, who will share the facility with the NCAA's ASU Sun Devils, are moving to their new home after the City of Glendale announced last year it would not renew the lease at Gila River Arena following this season after initially voting to terminate the 15-year, $225-million agreement in 2015. The team is hoping to build a permanent home in Tempe and submitted a $1.7-billion plan to city council in September 2021, but it has yet to be voted on.
Attendance issues have plagued the Coyotes for most of their existence, as the team has finished bottom-five in average attendance for the past 14 years, according to ESPN. The Coyotes have seen their average attendance grow over the past decade, although it has yet to surpass the peak they reached in their inaugural season in 1996-97, when they averaged 15,585 at their former home in downtown Phoenix. This season, they have averaged 11,414 fans per game, the third-lowest mark in the league ahead of only the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators. Gila River Arena, where the Coyotes have played since 2003, has a capacity of 18,300.
While Arizona State’s arena will provide a unique atmosphere for an NHL game, there were still many questions raised by those around the hockey world when the prices were announced.
OK, so riddle me this. There are already very few Coyotes fans willing to pay these kinds of prices to watch a really bad team. Does this mean the Coyotes won't mind seeing a 5,000-seat arena just as empty as the one they have now? https://t.co/houTmIib38
— David Shoalts (@dshoalts) April 21, 2022
If these prices are real coyotes completely missed the mark… they are playing near a college you make the cheapest tickets 20$ and one dollar beers or 1 dollar hotdogs you would get the college kids but at 89$ per game it prices half the market out https://t.co/BrVl9mHF97
Coyotes president Xavier Gutierrez recently spoke about a "fan-in-waiting base" in the 80,000 students who attend ASU.
How many students can afford prices like this? https://t.co/2dpsQctzgx pic.twitter.com/jDeqs7zlOU
— Mike Beauvais (@MikeBeauvais) April 21, 2022
During the NHL all-star break, commissioner Gary Bettman endorsed the Coyotes' plan to temporarily downsize, going as far to say that it could end up being financially advantageous.
"At the end of the day, if there has to be a temporary accommodation — knowing that a new building is coming, this obviously can’t be indefinite — I think they can create a terrific experience for people in a more intimate setting," Bettman said. "It wouldn’t be the first time that we were in a small, temporary facility pending the construction of a new arena.
"This will tell you why they need a new arena: We’re not sure they’re going to be a material difference between their revenues at ASU than where they’re at a level at Glendale," Bettman said. "In fact, under one projection we’ve done, we think they may do better."
The Coyotes are currently sitting last in the NHL with a 22-49-6 record and will miss the playoff for the ninth time in the last 10 seasons.
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