The arena is in Glendale, which is an hour to an hour and a half across town from the majority of the hockey fans in the Valley.
“What? Are you crazy?” you may be thinking… well, ponder this – most hockey fans (50% + 1) here in the Valley are transplants from out of state. And the majority of THOSE happen to spend their winters in the East Valley (Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Queen Creek, and Apache Junction).
So, the Coyotes might be wondering why their attendance is the 3rd worst in the NHL – it’s because the FRICKING ARENA IS ON THE WRONG SIDE OF TOWN. Are you seriously believing that the snowbirds are going to drive across town during RUSH HOUR (because, you know, games start at 7pm) to attend a game? You DO realise that snowbirds can’t get their vehicles above 55mph to begin with – can you imagine 6,000 hockey fans in a mass exodus from the East to the West Valley all driving 55, all during rush hour? The traffic grid would come to a complete standstill. No, if the NHL did ANY demographic studies prior to the building of the arena, they would have recognized this.
Of course, half the blame also goes to the City of Mesa, who could have bid for (and probably won) the arena to be built at the Riverview area (Dobson and Loop 202) and could have benefited from not just the NHL games but all the concerts and other goings-on at the arena as well. But NOOOO, Mesa wanted the whole enchilada – they wanted the Cardinals stadium instead and they had no room for it.
What does Mesa end up with? A huge shopping center anchored by an outdoorsmen’s shop and a movie theater. If they had the arena, they could’ve built that stuff around it anyway.
Stupid, stupid Mesa City Council.
Stupid, stupid NHL.