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Tempe could allow voters to decide fate of Coyotes hockey arena

The Tempe City Council will meet Thursday to decide whether to potentially hold an election next May for the proposed Arizona Coyotes arena.

TEMPE, Ariz. — Editor's Note: The above video is from an earlier broadcast.

The Tempe City Council will decide Thursday whether to allow voters the chance to decide the fate of a proposed entertainment district for the Arizona Coyotes. 

During a special meeting Thursday night, the council will review a resolution that would allow the city to hold a special election in May to vote on items related to the proposed Tempe Entertainment District. 

The council is already scheduled to vote later this month on three items related to developing the district, which would house an arena for the hockey team near Rio Salado Parkway and Priest Drive. 

If those three items are approved, then citizens could potentially file petitions to hold a referendum on the project. 

Thursday's resolution essentially plans for a special election on May 16, 2023 in case the public wants to hold a referendum vote.

What is the Tempe Entertainment District?

After the Coyotes left Gila River Arena in Glendale last year, the team proposed building a new 16,000-seat arena in Tempe that could serve as a home for the team.

Coyotes officials have previously said the arena would create thousands of new jobs and generate close to $125 million in revenue. 

The project has already attracted its fair share of both supporters and opponents. 

The City of Phoenix and airport officials have expressed concerns over building heights and the site's proximity to runways since the project falls under Sky Harbor's flight paths. 

Tempe will be holding two public hearings later this month before the council votes Nov. 29 on three items: a development and disposition agreement, a General Plan amendment, and a zoning amendment.

If the council rejects the three items on Nov. 29, then the project would not advance and no special election would be held. 

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