Did you know Phoenix, Arizona has the hottest climate of all major U.S. cities?
And yet… that’s where the league decided to open a new NHL franchise back in 1996. Ice hockey… in the desert!
100 years ago, this would have seemed like an impossibility. But, thanks to economic advancements and modern technology, hockey in the desert is possible.
Even though Arizona still has a long way to go in the hockey world, they’ve come a long way. In fact, one of the NHL’s best players grew up in Arizona. I’m sure you’ve heard of him. His name is Auston Matthews.
So, you’re wondering… What hockey team is in Arizona?
Well, in this article, I’ll show you what NHL team is in Arizona, what other top hockey teams are in the state, and where you can watch them.
Pssssst! Are you curious about hockey teams in other U.S. states? You can learn more by checking out our other posts: What Hockey Team Is in Georgia, What Hockey Team Is in Minnesota, and What Hockey Team Is in Pennsylvania.
Let’s dive in.
Here’s What Hockey Teams Are In Arizona:
Arizona is home to the Arizona Coyotes of the National Hockey League (NHL). However, they have another professional hockey team: the Tucson Roadrunners of the American Hockey League (AHL). Plus, they have a D1 and D2 college hockey team that both represent Arizona State University called the Sun Devils.
Is There Ice Hockey in Arizona?
Wondering if the Grand Canyon State has ice hockey?
Well, if you guessed no, I wouldn’t blame you. Arizona has the third-highest maximum summer temperature of any U.S. state. It hits an average high of 93.5 Fahrenheit every summer.
However, Arizona does have ice hockey. In fact, they’ve got their own National Hockey League (NHL) team: The Arizona Coyotes. The team was founded nearly 30 years ago in 1996.
Does Arizona Have an NHL Team?
So, does Arizona have a hockey team?
Yes, they do! The “Copper State” is home to the Arizona Coyotes based in the Phoenix metropolitan area. They compete within the Central Division of the NHL’s Western Conference.
The Coyotes currently play at the Mullet Arena at 411 S Packard Dr. in Tempe, Arizona while they wait for a new arena. One of the “Yotes” unfortunate claims to fame is that they’re the league’s oldest NHL franchise to have never played in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Does Arizona Have an AHL Team?
Wondering if Arizona has an AHL hockey team?
They sure do. The Tucson Roadrunners are Arizona’s other professional hockey team that plays out of the American Hockey League (AHL). They started playing in the 2016-17 season and are affiliated with the Arizona Coyotes as their minor league farm team.
They play their home games out of the Tucson Convention Center at 260 S Church Ave in downtown Tucson.
Does Arizona Have a D1 Hockey Team?
Yes, Arizona has a D1 hockey team. In fact, the “Valentine State’s” D1 college hockey team currently plays out of the same arena as the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes. The odd thing is, it’s not the Coyote’s arena. It’s Arizona State University’s arena.
The Arizona State Sun Devils are a D1 men’s college hockey team that represents Arizona State University. The Sun Devils first began playing in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), until they began competing within the NCAA Division I league as an independent team in 2015-16.
Arizona State University also has a D2 men’s ice hockey team that represents them in the Pacific 8 Intercollegiate Hockey Conference (PAC-8).
What Hockey Teams Are in Phoenix, AZ?
Phoenix Arizona is home to the Arizona Coyotes, a National Hockey League (NHL) team that competes in the Western Conference.
Technically, the Coyotes don’t play right in downtown Phoenix. They actually play their home games in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area—in Tempe, Arizona.
The team is currently using Arizona State University’s home arena called the Mullet Arena in downtown Tempe.
Why Did The Phoenix Coyotes Change Their Name?
Didn’t the Arizona Coyotes use to be called the Phoenix Coyotes? Yes, they did!
Here’s where their name changed… For years, the NHL club was failing to provide adequate revenue in Phoenix. So, in 2013, the Coyotes were sold. They were looking at different potential cities they could move to. At one point, their top option was to move to Seattle.
However, on July 2, 2013, the city of Glendale, Arizona voted in favor of bringing the Yotes over for a 15-year lease agreement. And… They were moved to Glendale for the start of the 2013-14 season.
At the turn of the new year, in 2014, the new Coyotes ownership group announced the name change from the Phoenix Coyotes to the Arizona Coyotes for the start of the 2014-15 season. This made sense as they no longer were playing home games in Phoenix.
But, there was more to it. New ownership wanted to include all hockey fans in Arizona, in hopes that they could grow their fan base outside of Phoenix.
Is Hockey Big in Arizona?
Wondering how big hockey is in Arizona? Well, to be honest, it’s not as popular as other sports.
But, for hockey fans, how does the state rank compared to other regions in America?
Believe it or not, Arizona ranks better than you might expect.
In 2022, WalletHub crunched the numbers to figure out what the best cities for hockey fans were. In their study, they ranked a total of 72 cities in the U.S. based on 21 key indicators of a “good” hockey city. Different indicators included stadium capacity, ticket prices, and the performance of major teams.
In their study, Arizona didn’t do too badly. Glendale, AZ ranks as the 19th-best hockey city in America. However, that’s not the only city in the Copper State that cracked the top 72. Tempe, AZ just squeezed into the top 72 by taking 71st best city.
So, is hockey big in Arizona? Not compared to other major sports. However, is it popular for hockey fans? Better than you’d expect!
Are you curious to know more about hockey in other states across the U.S.? Don’t forget to check out our full guide: Hockey Teams in Every U.S. State: Complete NHL & College List (2023)