Arizona Coyotes close out time at Gila River Arena in Glendale

The Arizona Coyotes are playing their final game in Gila River Arena on Friday night.
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 9:46 PM MST
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GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Tonight marked the end of an era for the Arizona Coyotes. After 19 years, the team played its final game at Gila River Arena in Glendale. Next year, the Coyotes will head to the East Valley and play at ASU’s rink in Tempe while they seek to build a permanent home in the city.

“Let’s go Coyotes!” shouted Sandra and Gloria Trevino as they waited in line for the regular-season finale.

The Trevinos have been going to games at Gila River Arena since the team moved here 19 years ago. “I moved out to this neighborhood when they announced they were going to break ground on this arena,” Sandra said. “So, it’s a loss.”

“Was there any way you were missing this game?” I asked. “No way,” Gloria responded. “Even if I had to get an Uber!”

The end of this season brings a strained relationship between the Coyotes and the city of Glendale to a close. “I think it’s regretful that the Coyotes could never quite find a way to see what a great community Glendale is and where Glendale is going,” Glendale city manager Kevin Phelps said.

Phelps says the city is already looking ahead to a new, remodeled arena that will be the Valley’s destination for live music. “If we can do that successfully, we think we’ll be very attractive in terms of attracting acts and events to our arena,” Phelps said.

As for the Coyotes’ front office, they’re also looking forward to a new opportunity, a new chance to expand their fanbase in Tempe. “The centrality of Tempe,” Coyotes President and CEO Xavier Gutierrez said. “You’re really talking about this hub and it’s the center of where you’re seeing corporate growth and where you’re seeing so many innovative companies. And so we’re excited about it.”

But before moving forward, leave it to Coyotes legend Shane Doan to soak in one final night at the arena where his jersey hangs from the rafters. “The fans of the Coyotes, we appreciate the West Valley and how much enthusiasm has been here,” Doan said. “It’s been an incredible ride, and we just want to say thank you. Thank you very much.”