The Times podcast: Coyotes go urban; humans freak out in the Great Lakes
Apr 16, 2014 at 12:01 AMApr 16, 2014 at 9:06 PM
On the last episode of the The Times Podcast: Coyotes go urban; humans freak out in the Great Lakes, we get more details on what’s next for the team’s new building, the team’s interest in expanding the Civic Center, and, in a first-ever interview, the first-ever interview with an NHL executive.
The Coyotes have plans to build a new arena downtown and, over the next decade, they’d like to get the team the kind of corporate support that can help them attract and retain other businesses in the area’s downtown core.
I interviewed Steve Conte, president and general manager of the Golden Knights and Coyotes Entertainment Group. He has a long history in the Valley, which we’ve written about before, since he was the founder of the ValleyCATS, the team that played in the Valley for so many years, then played in the Valley again, then moved to Vegas, and then to the Pacific Coliseum, a $500 million domed arena in downtown Las Vegas.
One of the most interesting things I learned about Conte was how he handled his team when he wanted to bring back a team to where the Coyotes played in 1993.
“I had never seen that level of support for a team,” he said. “I thought we’d never get that. To me it was unbelievable.”
He has many similar stories about the Phoenix Coyotes of the late 1990s.
He still remembers it well, the reaction of the community, including the mayor of Phoenix, to the idea of a new team.
“That night was unforgettable. The night we decided we’d found something special,” he said. “It was unbelievable.”
One of the biggest hurdles the team faced in building Conte a team was convincing people it was going to be a