By Sam Kmack | Arizona Republic
Tempe could see tens of millions of dollars more in gains than was previously expected if voters approve the Arizona Coyotes’ $2.1 billion development deal on May 16, according to a report by Arizona State University’s Seidman Research Institute that was released last week.
The institute has been the “consultancy arm of W. P. Carey School of Business” at ASU. For nearly four decades, its work has involved forecasting the economic impact of large-scale developments such as the Coyotes project for groups ranging from the NFL and the Arizona Department of Health Services.
This time around, the Coyotes funded the institute’s April 17 report. The goal was to evaluate the financial merits of the team’s plan to build a hockey arena, entertainment district and apartments on 46 acres land west of Town Lake, the “last bulk” of city-owned land left in Tempe.
ASU concluded that pursuing the project would be a fiscal slam dunk for Tempe, finding that it would have an even larger impact than previous Coyotes-funded studies had forecast. Specifically, the report’s key findings included:
- The Coyotes project would produce about $167 million in new tax revenue for Tempe over the next 30 years. That’s an increase of more than $12 million — or about a 7% jump — when compared with the Coyotes’ earlier forecast.
- The typical income for employees at the new project site will be nearly $100,000 each year. That’s a 37% increase in the average salary estimate made in the Coyotes’ first study, which had equaled roughly $73,000 for future on-site employees of the project. That change happened because ASU’s estimated much higher salaries for the white collar employees who will work in the project’s office buildings.
- The project will not create any new citywide taxes or eat up any existing cash in Tempe’s coffers. Both facts have been established for nearly a year but were challenged by project opponents.