The Arizona Coyotes will finally play their home opener on Friday when they welcome the Winnipeg Jets to Mullett Arena — their home for at least the next three seasons. The Coyotes’ new domain has been criticized for months, and on Wednesday, it was their hospitality that was being challenged.
A Twitter account named "PHNX Coyotes" posted footage of the Coyotes’ temporary visiting team spaces — including dressing and training rooms — for the first four games of the year.
We got a first look at the temporary visiting team spaces (dressing room, training areas, etc.) for the first 4 NHL games at Mullett Arena!
The annex is being built and expected to be ready in December.
Full discussion: https://t.co/I8WhRYnAss
Full show: https://t.co/Y2dZMn7BiM pic.twitter.com/24SXok1S3I
— PHNX Coyotes (@PHNX_Coyotes) October 26, 2022
While the setup is a temporary solution until new rooms are constructed, the video quickly went viral as fans commented on the embarrassing structures.
This is more pathetic than most beer league arenas. Move this poverty franchise already
— harry (@ace_o_blades) October 26, 2022
Quebec and Winnipeg were rushed out of the league so fast for so much less.
— Edna Garrett (@WatchMyReview) October 26, 2022
I can't believe you actually posted this like it was a positive thing.
What an utter embarrassment for your "professional franchise".
— TimbOHMYGODDIDYOUHEARTHAT? (@ohheytimbo) October 26, 2022
few people as annoying as the humourless scolds saying we can't laugh at the Coyotes for playing in a McDonalds PlayPlace. "actually um this is just temporary!" oh okay so it's not funny that an NHL team is using dressing rooms that are a shower curtain in front of a coathanger
— Acting the Fulemin (@ATFulemin) October 26, 2022
It seems fitting the Jets are the first opponents to face the Coyotes at Mullett Arena. In 1996, Winnipeg lost its team, which was moved to Phoenix, and now the Jets return to less-than-cordial visiting quarters.
Mullett Arena holds a capacity of roughly 5,000 fans, the smallest arena in the NHL. Last season, the Jets were the ones with the smallest arena with a 15,321-seat capacity at Canada Life Centre. They might thrive in this more intimate setting.
The Coyotes began the regular season with six road games before returning home. This contest kicks off a four-game homestand in which the New York Rangers, Florida Panthers and Dallas Stars will also have to use the current setup of visiting team spaces.
The Coyotes will then get back on the road from Nov. 5 through Dec. 9 and will use more suitable guest dressing rooms than the ones they provided. Over that same stretch, the Arizona State men’s hockey team will play just four home games at Mullett Arena. Once the Coyotes return from their month-long journey, they will play 37 of their final 58 regular-season games at home.
The Coyotes ended the last year of their lease at Gila Arena in Glendale with the 2021-22 season and the city terminated its relationship with the team. In February 2022, the Coyotes announced a partnership with Arizona State to hold home games at Mullett Arena for the 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons with an option for 2025-26 if both sides come to an agreement.
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