Logan Elia, Rose Law Group partner and litigation attorney, talks to 12 News about Phoenix taking legal action against Tempe over Coyotes arena plans

By Kevin Reagan, Colleen Sikora | 12 News

TEMPE, Ariz. — The City of Phoenix is taking legal action against a proposed entertainment district the City of Tempe is planning to serve as a new home for the Arizona Coyotes.

The Tempe Entertainment District is a proposed $2.1 billion complex that’s been in the works for the last few years. The development would include a 16,000-seat arena and team practice facility for the NHL team, as well as hotels, retail stores, and apartments.

Phoenix officials have objected to the large project due to its proximity to a flight path for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. According to Phoenix, the entertainment district would only be about 9,800 feet from the airport’s south runway.

The two cities reached an agreement in 1994, where each municipality made concessions to help mitigate noise from the airport.

On Tuesday, Phoenix officials announced they were taking legal action hoping that a judge would determine that Tempe violated its previous agreements with Phoenix.

“Phoenix has tried numerous times over the past year to resolve disagreements with Tempe and attempt to find a path forward, avoiding litigation. Phoenix knows from experience that quality of life is diminished when residents are exposed to excessive aircraft noise,” Phoenix officials wrote in a statement.

Phoenix officials state they don’t object to most aspects of the entertainment district and are primarily concerned about the residential portion of the project.


Logan Elia, a litigator with Rose Law Group, said he doesn’t believe the previous agreements can be enforced. 

“I think when the cities make agreements with each other, they should attempt to follow through in good faith. But I don’t think that those agreements are enforceable as a matter of law,” Elia said. “And if situations change, then new plans need to be considered.”

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March 2023