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AMERICA WEST TO UNDERGO RENOVATION DESPITE COYOTES THREATS
Published March 12, 1999
The city of Phoenix unveiled a plan to give America West Arena a $12M upgrade, making it "one of the biggest hockey arenas in the NHL," although the Coyotes may still relocate to Scottsdale, according to Chris Fiscus of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The renovation, which could be completed "by the end of summer 2000," would give the arena 17,500 seats with "clear views for hockey and arena football." In addition to the remaining 2,500 "or so 'obstructed-view'" seats, America West's capacity would increase to over 20,000. The arena currently holds 16,210 for hockey -- though less than 12,000 offer unobstructed views -- and 19,023 for basketball, seating that would "remain essentially the same." Also, the Coyotes would receive access to all suites for their home games beginning in the 2000-01 season. Seven existing suites are currently unavailable to the team. Phoenix Mayor Skip Rimsza said that the $12M could be paid from existing arena funds, although the use of those funds and the renovation plan must still be approved by the Phoenix City Council. City officials said the city would still go through with the renovations despite the Coyotes' insistence on relocating to a new facility in Scottsdale (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/12).