June 21, 2024
Picture of a coyote with a hockey stick on the ice
Why are the Arizona Coyotes moving to another state? How did it come to this? Any chance Bangor, Maine can woo the Coyotes to move their team here?

The NHL’s Arizona Coyotes were hitching their wagons to 3 public referendums that would have made a multi-million dollar entertainment district possible. That is where the Arizona Coyotes were hoping to go, as they’re now playing in an arena that seats a mere 5,000 spectators. That’s the smallest in NHL history.

Today’s we’re asking Bing’s AI some questions about that.

Why is Arizona Coyotes looking to move the team after the 3 failed public referendums?

According to the search results, the Arizona Coyotes were looking to move to a new arena and entertainment district in Tempe, but their proposal was voted down by the Tempe residents on May 16, 2023 (Source). The Coyotes had hoped that the new arena would help them become an elite NHL franchise and end their financial struggles. (Source) However, the project faced opposition from the city of Phoenix and Sky Harbor International Airport, who expressed concerns about the noise and environmental impact of the development. (Source) The Coyotes have been playing in Arizona State’s Mullett Arena, which has a capacity of only 5,000. (Source) The NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said he was “terribly disappointed” by the results of the referendum and would consider the next steps for the Coyotes. (Source)

What arena did the Coyotes play in when they first move to Arizona and what was the capacity then?

According to the search results, the Coyotes played in the Footprint Center (formerly known as America West Arena, US Airways Center, Talking Stick Resort Arena and Phoenix Suns Arena) when they first moved to Arizona in 1996. (Source) The arena had a capacity of 16,210 for hockey and indoor football. (Source) The Coyotes shared the arena with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns until 2003, when they moved to Glendale’s Gila River Arena. (Source)

How did the Coyotes end up in such a small arena in the end?

According to the search results, the Coyotes ended up playing at Mullett Arena after their lease with Glendale’s Gila River Arena was not renewed by the city in 2021 (Source) The Coyotes signed a three-year agreement with Arizona State University to use their newly opened arena, which is home to the Sun Devils hockey team. (Source) The Coyotes invested $19.7 million to upgrade the arena to make it NHL-ready, including adding locker rooms and premium seating. (Source) However, Mullett Arena has a capacity of only 5,000 fans for hockey, which is the smallest in NHL history. (Source)

Why did the city not renew the lease?

According to the search results, the city of Glendale decided not to renew the Coyotes’ lease because it wanted to focus on “larger, more impactful events and uses” for the arena. (Source) The city also cited the Coyotes’ “inconsistent on-ice success” and “an inability to reach a broader fan base” as reasons for ending the partnership. (Source) The Coyotes had been operating on a year-to-year basis with Glendale since 2016, after a previous 15-year deal was terminated by the city in 2015. (Source) The Coyotes expressed disappointment with Glendale’s decision and said they were committed to finding a long-term arena solution in Arizona. (Source)

Wasn’t the partnership making money for the city? Was this a good financial decision for the city to end the partnership?

According to the search results, the partnership between Glendale and the Coyotes was not very profitable for the city. The city claimed that it lost $3.6 million per year on the arena management deal with the Coyotes, and that it could make more money by hosting other events such as concerts and conventions. (Source) The Coyotes also retained most of the revenue from the arena’s naming rights, advertising and parking fees. (Source) The city said it wanted to diversify its revenue streams and reduce its reliance on the Coyotes. (Source) Whether this was a good financial decision for the city remains to be seen, as some experts have argued that losing an NHL team could hurt Glendale’s image and economy. (Source)

Where might the Arizona Coyotes end up?

According to the search results, the Arizona Coyotes have several possible options for relocation, both within and outside of Arizona. Some of the potential new homes for the Coyotes are:

  • Phoenix: The Coyotes could return to their former home at the Footprint Center, which they shared with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns from 1996 to 2003. (Source) The arena has a capacity of 18,422 for hockey and is located about 30 minutes away from Glendale. (Source)
  • Quebec City: The Coyotes could move to Canada and become the second NHL team in Quebec, after the Montreal Canadiens. Quebec City was home to the NHL’s Nordiques until they relocated to Colorado in 1995. (Source) The city has a ready-made arena in the Videotron Centre, which opened in 2015 and has a capacity of 18,259 for hockey. (Source)
  • Houston: The Coyotes could relocate to Texas and join the Dallas Stars as the second NHL team in the state. Houston is the fifth-largest city in North America and has expressed interest in hosting an NHL team in the past. (Source) The city has an arena in the Toyota Center, which is home to the NBA’s Houston Rockets and has a capacity of 17,800 for hockey. (Source)
  • Tempe: The Coyotes could stay in Arizona and move to a new arena and entertainment district in Tempe, a city near Phoenix. The Coyotes have proposed a $1.7 billion project that would include a 16,000-seat arena, a hotel, retail and office space, and a public park. (Source) However, the project faces opposition from some Tempe residents and environmental groups, who are concerned about the impact on traffic, noise, water quality, and wildlife. (Source) A special election is underway to decide whether the project will be approved or not. (Source)

What would Bangor, Maine have to do in order to throw its hat in the ring as a possible city for the Arizona Coyotes to move to?

That’s an interesting question. I don’t think Bangor, Maine is a very likely destination for the Arizona Coyotes, but if they wanted to try to attract the team, they would have to do a lot of things. Some of the possible steps are:

  • Build or upgrade an NHL-ready arena: The Coyotes would need a modern and spacious arena to play in, with enough seating capacity, amenities, and revenue sources to support the team. Bangor’s current arena, the Cross Insurance Center, has a capacity of only 5,800 for hockey and was built in 2013. It would not meet the NHL standards and would have to be replaced or significantly renovated.
  • Secure public and private funding: Building or upgrading an arena would require a lot of money, and the Coyotes would likely expect some public subsidies or incentives to relocate. Bangor would have to convince its taxpayers and elected officials that investing in an NHL team is worth it, and also find private partners or sponsors to share the costs and risks.
  • Demonstrate a strong fan base and market potential: The Coyotes would want to move to a city where they can attract and retain loyal fans and generate enough revenue from ticket sales, merchandise, broadcasting rights, and other sources. Bangor would have to show that it has a large and passionate hockey community, as well as a viable media market and corporate support. Bangor is the third-largest city in Maine, with a population of about 32,000, and is part of the Bangor metropolitan area, which has about 153,000 people. It is also close to the Canadian border, which could offer some cross-border appeal. However, it is unclear if Bangor has enough hockey fans and economic potential to sustain an NHL team.
  • Negotiate with the NHL and other stakeholders: The Coyotes would not be able to move to Bangor without the approval of the NHL and its Board of Governors, who would have to vote on the relocation. The NHL would consider factors such as the impact on the league’s competitive balance, geographic alignment, scheduling, travel, and revenue sharing. Bangor would also have to deal with other stakeholders, such as the AHL’s Maine Mariners, who play in nearby Portland and are affiliated with the New York Rangers, or the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs, who play in neighboring New Brunswick and are part of the Canadian Hockey League. These teams could see the Coyotes as a threat or a partner, depending on their interests and relationships.

If Bangor, Maine could some how pull this off and bring the Coyotes here, what do you think about the name “Bangor Lumberjacks” since we used to be a lumber town, or the name “Bangor Bombers” since we used to have Dow Airforce Base?

Those are some interesting names. I think they both reflect some aspects of Bangor’s history and culture, and could appeal to some hockey fans. However, I also think they have some drawbacks. For example:

  • Bangor Lumberjacks: This name could evoke a sense of strength, toughness, and hard work, which are qualities that hockey players and fans admire. It could also pay tribute to Bangor’s past as a lumber town and a major exporter of timber. However, it could also be seen as outdated, clichéd, or stereotypical, especially by people who are not familiar with Bangor’s history. It could also be confused with other teams that have similar names, such as the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads or the ECHL’s Maine Mariners.
  • Bangor Bombers: This name could convey a sense of speed, power, and excitement, which are elements that hockey fans enjoy. It could also honor Bangor’s role as a military base and a strategic location during World War II and the Cold War. However, it could also be seen as insensitive, violent, or controversial, especially by people who are affected by war or terrorism. It could also be associated with other teams that have similar names, such as the NFL’s New York Jets or the MLB’s New York Yankees.

Personally, I don’t have a strong preference for either name, but I think they both have some advantages and disadvantages. I think the Coyotes would have to consider how their potential fans and sponsors would react to their new name, and how it would fit with their brand and identity.

What name do you suggest, Bing?

That’s a tough question. I don’t have a lot of creativity when it comes to naming things, but I’ll try to come up with some ideas. Here are some possible names for the Coyotes if they moved to Bangor:

  • Bangor Beasts: This name could suggest a fierce, powerful, and intimidating team that dominates its opponents. It could also be a nod to the mythical creatures that are part of Maine’s folklore, such as the Wendigo or the Loup-Garou. However, it could also be seen as too generic, vague, or childish, and it could clash with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, who have a similar logo and mascot.
  • Bangor Blizzard: This name could capture the cold and snowy climate of Maine, as well as the fast and explosive style of hockey. It could also be a reference to the Great Blizzard of 1888, which was one of the most severe snowstorms in US history and affected Bangor. However, it could also be seen as too common, boring, or unoriginal, and it could conflict with the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, who have a similar theme and color scheme.
  • Bangor Blueberries: This name could celebrate one of Maine’s most famous and delicious products, as well as its agricultural heritage. It could also be a unique and memorable name that stands out from other teams and attracts attention. However, it could also be seen as too silly, cute, or irrelevant, and it could invite ridicule or mockery from other teams and fans.
  • Bangor Breakers: This name could evoke a sense of energy, dynamism, and innovation, as well as the coastal location of Bangor and its connection to the Penobscot River. It could also be a tribute to the Bangor Hydro-Electric Company, which was founded in 1896 and provided electricity to the city. However, it could also be seen as too obscure, confusing, or unrelated, and it could overlap with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, who have a similar nickname and logo.

These are just some of my suggestions. I don’t know if any of them are good or not.

Here’s to the Bangor Blueberries!

That’s the end of my conversation with the Bing’s AI about this. AI is a wonderful tool for learning and really streamlines the ability to dig into a story and understand it. Should the day ever come when we can woo an NHL team to set up shop in Maine, consider me the first official season ticket holder for the Bangor Blueberries.