ASU Hockey: Sun Devils will play four games in Gila River Arena
(Photo: Jayson Chesler/WCSN)
Sun Devil Athletics and the Arizona Coyotes announced on Wednesday that the Sun Devil Hockey team will play four regular season games at Gila River Arena this season.
The arena will also host a Division I hockey tournament, the first of its kind in the Southwestern region of the United States to be played in early 2016.
“There is so much demand to watch this sport and to be a part of ASU athletics that we feel it’s the right thing to do,” Coyotes President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said. “It’s the beginning of what we feel is going to be a long term partnership.”
The Sun Devils will open their season against the University of Arizona in an ACHA match-up at Gila River Arena on October 3, the first of their four scheduled games in the venue.
Additionally, the Sun Devils will play the Desert Hockey Classic at the arena on Friday, January 8. The tournament features a matchup between the University of Connecticut and Michigan Tech before ASU takes on Yale at 8 p.m.
“I think it just sets the tone for what we are about,” defenseman Drew Newmeyer said. “We’re gonna go out there and be what we want to be which is a top team.
“It really gives us the stage to make that a possibility.”
Tickets will be available for purchase just after prices are finalized through the Arizona Coyotes box office.
AUDIO: Hear Coach Greg Powers react to the Coyotes rink announcement
There have also been preliminary discussions involving a method of transportation for students to further boost attendance, per Athletic Director Ray Anderson.
The relationship with the team and the Arizona Coyotes is expected to only grow with time.
“We plan on playing these games this year and as we evolve we’re going to have a full slate and schedule,” head coach Greg Powers said. “I can’t publically comment on it but it is very good and very aggressive with top teams in Division I Hockey.”
“We won’t be shying away from anyone,” Anderson added.
Heading into the team’s first Division I season, the expectation is that the program will continue to grow and advance.
“It’s only a matter of time before were celebrating a Hobey Baker winner and a trip to the Frozen Four,” Coyotes Broadcaster Matt McConnell said. “Then the ultimate goal; a National Championship.”