Coyotes tab longtime executive Patterson as president
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Coyotes hired Steve Patterson as president and CEO on Wednesday, hoping the longtime sports executive can help solve their ongoing arena issue.
The Coyotes have sought a new arena since the city of Glendale renegotiated a 15-year lease in 2015 and lost a partner for a new arena when Arizona State pulled out of an agreement earlier this year.
Patterson has worked as an NFL, NBA and college executive, serving key roles in designing and renovating arenas at nearly every stop.
The Coyotes also promoted general manager John Chayka to president of hockey operations, a day after hiring Rick Tocchet as head coach.
''Steve has a wealth of experience and has served as an innovative and successful executive in the NFL, NBA, professional hockey, professional baseball and college athletics for over 30 years,'' Coyotes owner Andrew Barroway said in a statement. ''He's built championship teams and organizations and has managed stadiums, ballparks and arenas across the United States. Most importantly, he previously worked in our market and has the necessary corporate and political relationships to help us secure a long-term home for the Coyotes in the Valley. We're thrilled to have him join us.''
Patterson led a group that brought the NFL's Texans and a Super Bowl to Houston, where he helped design and finance the stadium. He also played key roles in arena renovations while serving as general manager of the NBA'S Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers.
The 59-year-old previously worked in the Phoenix area as athletic director at Arizona State from 2012-13 after being hired as chief operating officer for Sun Devil Athletics in 2011.
Patterson left Arizona State to become athletic director at Texas, serving a two-year stint that ended with him being forced out in 2015 after alienating large numbers of fans, boosters and school administrators.
He previously served as president of Pro Sports Consulting and was GM of the AHL's Houston Aeros.
Patterson replaces Anthony LeBlanc, who stepped down shortly after Barroway became sole owner of the franchise.
''My wife and I loved living in the Valley of the Sun and we are so excited to return to Arizona,'' Patterson said. ''The Valley is a great hockey market with an incredibly loyal and passionate fan base. I'm looking forward to working with Mr. Barroway to create a successful franchise on and off the ice and I'm very excited about the challenges and opportunities ahead.''