TEMPE, Ariz. — UPDATE (5/18/2022)
Arizona State University issued a statement to 12 Sports clearing up some confusion after a report from The Athletic on Tuesday said that the Coyotes may not be able to have their logo at center ice of the new multipurpose arena on ASU's Tempe campus, which the Coyotes have signed a deal to play at for at least the next three seasons.
"We will have both the Coyotes and ASU logos on center ice. The Coyotes are prohibited from including any of their normal in-ice branding. They are also prevented from digitally covering up our logo on their broadcasts."
More details of the deal between the Arizona Coyotes and Arizona State University, which will allow the Coyotes to play at ASU's new multipurpose arena for at least the next three seasons, are being revealed, and according to a new report from The Athletic's Katie Strang and Sean Shapiro, fans may not see a Coyotes logo at center ice, but that may not be entirely true.
The Athletic's report digs into the venue license agreement between IceArizona Hockey and OVG Facilities and was signed by Coyotes President Xavier Gutierrez and says:
"In-ice advertising will be a revenue source for Arizona State, and the Coyotes aren't allowed to modify the look of the ice surface - including the Arizona State logo at center ice - on broadcasts to protect ASU's permanent advertisers in the building. It is noted that this doesn't and shouldn't impact opposing broadcasts filming at ASU."
That could mean when Coyotes fans attend home games, they may only see a pitchfork at center ice instead of the Coyotes Kachina logo, crescent moon logo, or howling Coyote logo.
However, PHNX Sports' Craig Morgan is reporting that the wording in the deal doesn't specifically address center ice, but rather that the Coyotes won't be able to change what is put on the entirety of ice surface by ASU, and that the logos of both teams will be seen.
According to the new report, all Coyotes advertising at the arena is required to be temporary but will have access to the scoreboard hanging above center ice, the ribbon board and they will be able to change ads on the boards.
The Coyotes will also be required to work with "exclusive venue sponsors," who have signed deals with OVG or not sell ads in those spaces.
The Coyotes will have to get any alcohol or beer advertisements approved by ASU. The university will also be able to reject any advertisements that they find to be distasteful or not in compliance with ASU rules.
ASU will get all revenue from arena naming rights and the Coyotes will not be able to sell temporary ads to anyone that is a competitor or in the same category as which every company buys the naming rights for the arena.
The Athletic's report also says that ASU has a clause in the deal, which allow them to get out of the deal if the Coyotes do anything that would reflect poorly on the university.
"According to the document, if the Coyotes or (owner Alex) Meruelo become the subject of adverse publicity, contempt, scandal or ridicule for violating 'widely held principles of public morality, failing to conduct is business affairs with a high degree of integrity and honesty and/or failing to act as a good corporate citizen,' Arizona State can get out of its deal with the Coyotes."
The Athletic has previously reported on accusations of the Coyotes having a "'toxic' work environment," and the organization also faced a lot of backlash in 2020 when they drafted Mitchell Miller, who bullied a Black classmate with developmental disabilities. The Coyotes later cut ties with Miller and forfeited the pick.
PHNX Sports' Morgan reports this is standard for ASU.
The report also says the Coyotes will not be able to run any sports gambling operations inside the arena or anywhere on or within a half-mile of ASU's Tempe campus. The team will be able to request that to change if the state legislature changes the rules during this legislative session.
The deal between ASU and the Coyotes is for three years with an option for a fourth year.
If the Coyotes' new arena in Tempe gets approved by the city council, but more time is needed to get it built, ASU and the Coyotes will meet on or near New Year's Day 2025 to discuss extending the lease for another year.
12 Sports on YouTube