Gila River Arena Information
- Location: Glendale, Arizona
- Address: 9400 West Maryland Avenue, Glendale, Arizona 85305
- Capacity: 17,125 (hockey)
- Year Opened: 2003
- Previous Names: Glendale Arena
- Occupants: Phoenix Coyotes
The Phoenix Coyotes have been a force in the Western Conference since they came to Arizona in 1996 as the city's first professional hockey team. Gila River Arena, the Coyotes' home since 2003, is located in Glendale, Arizona, and sits next to the Arizona Cardinals' new stadium. As a result, numerous hotels, restaurants, and bars have popped up around the arena, giving fans plenty to do before the puck drops. The building seats nearly 18,000 people and is easily accessible from Loop 101, which goes around Phoenix's suburbs. The Coyotes also offer free parking for fans, making them the only team in all of the four major professional sports to offer that concession. Along with its cozy multi-tiered bowl structure that offers superb sight lines, fans in any sport in the arena can enjoy the view of a 360-degree LED board.
The Phoenix Coyotes actually started as the Winnipeg Jets before moving to Phoenix. The Coyotes got off to a great start in their new locale by making the playoffs each year between the 1997 and 2000 seasons. Led by Keith Tkachuk and Mike Gartner, the Coyotes had one of the most potent scoring attacks in the league, but they were unable to break through to the second round of the playoffs over that time span.
The Coyotes would return to the playoffs in 2010 and 2011 after a long drought, and although they were again knocked out in the first round, they have shown great potential to develop into a strong postseason contender. With new coach Dave Tippett and an ownership group committed to keeping the team in the desert, the Coyotes will have plenty of front office support to make a playoff push in the coming years.
Arizona sporting fans have been enjoying their glittering new arena for years, and music fans have benefited greatly as well. The building has attracted big-name tours such as Bon Jovi's The Circle Tour, Bruce Springsteen's Working on a Dream tour, Incubus' Monuments and Melodies tour, and many more.
The area surrounding downtown Phoenix has been growing rapidly over the past few decades, and the Gila River Arena further illustrates the dedication to sports and live entertainment that is bound to attract tourists for years to come.