The Coyotes’ Downtown Arena

The Coyotes' Downtown Arena

The Times podcast: Coyotes go urban; humans freak out at the zoo

With the season in the books and the offseason drawing near, our time to discuss all things Coyotes with Grantland’s Peter Pilling, Mike Heika and our own Dan Rosen.

Grantland: When I saw the Coyotes’ downtown arena announcement, which was just a teaser, I thought “Wow, they’re really going to get to the point today.” The Coyotes now have committed to a downtown arena, and it is a stunning proposal that I think really addresses what has come to be called the “Downtown Commons issue.”

I mean, yes, there is the issue of having to construct a downtown arena. The question is whether or not it’s the best solution to the problem. I think it is, and I agree that a downtown arena is an essential piece of a comprehensive urban revitalization plan.

But to go into detail about the merits of the plan is to dive into a minefield of what has historically defined downtown arenas. There are only so many ways to talk about what is essentially a piece of land, a piece of existing infrastructure that serves one purpose, and has a whole bunch of other things that need to be built and maintained to be fully complete.

So how would the Coyotes build a downtown arena? I get that. They’re going to have a really good game plan. But how does the Coyotes make the plan attractive? How can you build a downtown arena while maintaining what is so far the worst traffic in North America? We haven’t had a traffic count for the Coyotes’ arena site, but given the massive crowds that have visited the city center stadium and the surrounding area, we’re already at 8,500 cars a day passing through the area.

As far as a downtown arena goes, I understand it’s kind of a pain in the ass. That’s why I think it’s good that the Coyotes are going to build it, and at least I get the sense that they’re going to do things that make it possible.

The city has taken an extremely hardline position. The public has been basically ignored. The city has essentially said “Sorry, not interested.” I’m sure they would have been open to it if they thought that the Coyotes would be part of things they thought could be built. But what about this plan? Does it make sense?

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