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  • Writer's pictureLloyd Brown

Mullett Arena - Arizona State Sun Devils

Photos by Lloyd Brown Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00

Mullett Arena

411 S Packard Drive

Tempe, AZ 85281

Year Opened: 2022 Capacity: 4,600


Sun Devils Heat Up In Their New Hockey Home

Arizona State University has had a hockey program at some level since the 1980s. This started with club hockey and made it through many levels of ACHA hockey, where they were a dominant program, taking part in 10 National ACHA Tournaments, and winning the ACHA National Championship in 2014. In 2015 the Sun Devils moved to Division 1 status in the NCAA, where they play as an independent.

The Sun Devils hockey program has had several venues to call their home ice. Once they reached NCAA Division I status, the ASU program split its games between the off-campus Gila River Arena and the Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe. These arenas each suffered from either having too much or too little seating capacity for the program. The pressure mounted to have an arena of its own, with a capacity of 5,000 seats, preferably on campus.

Fast forward to the 2022-2023 season and the Sun Devils' dreams have come true. In November 2022 the 5,000-seat Mullett Arena opened in the athletic complex located on the Arizona State University campus. This was made possible due to a sizeable donation by the Mullett family, which included naming rights for the venue.

The move has been met with capacity crowds and a noticeable increase in fan support from the student body at Arizona State. The new arena will allow the school to host hockey tournaments, as it has multiple locker rooms and access to several lodging choices to house visiting teams.

The 5,000-seat capacity includes a 1,000-seat student section, 658 club seats, 22 suites at the 200 level, and 10 loge boxes at the concourse level of the arena.

Food & Beverage 4

You will find a better-than-average selection of food and beverages at Sun Devil hockey games. Unfortunately, while Mullett Arena is primarily a college venue, you’ll find the concession stands charge NHL and movie theatre-level prices. We’ll share the cost of the most purchased items first, then highlight the specialty items found at each location. Our grade in this section reflects the variety of foods available at Mullett Arena. The price of concessions will be a part of the Return-on-Investment grade later in this review.

Each stand offers hot dogs ($6), nachos ($7), burgers ($13), fries ($6.50), and popcorn ($7). The standard prices for bottled water, Powerade, or Coca-Cola sodas are $6.00. Domestic beers are $14 and premium beers are $15.

There are five concession stands to choose from at Mullett Arena. Cold Beer and Cheeseburgers offers sliders and wings. Venezia’s Pizza is owned by an ASU alum. Basis pizza slices are offered, while a Hat Trick slice made of pepperoni, bacon, and sausage is #14. Venezia’s also offers a Cobb salad, and Sparky’s Hot Spot features several spicy Southwestern dishes including the Inferno Dog. The Desert chicken cheesesteak, and the Steak Supreme Nachos.

The Neighborhood Burger offers sliders for $15, as well as a chicken tender basket for $15. Shaq’s Big Chicken offers a big chicken spicy sandwich ($12.50) and a Nashville Hot chicken sandwich ($13.50). Mullett Marketplace is a convenience store formatted vendor. They offer an orange chicken dish, chicken fajita wraps, and salad, in addition to the usual stadium standards.

Atmosphere 5

The Mullett Arena is a terrific place to watch college hockey, as the seats are very close to the ice and there are no bad seats. The club seating is located in one of 22 suites or 10 center ice concourse level loge boxes. The arena also has a party area above the concourse level called the Dos Equis Devil Deck. It is an open-air section with a bar and its food service. It also affords partygoers an unobstructed view of the entire arena

Hockey at the collegiate level is much different from minor league or NHL hockey. There is a student section, cheerleaders, and much more of a college football-type of atmosphere. The arena does a great job of featuring the maroon and gold school colors of ASU and the three-pronged spear logo of the Sun Devils.

The Arizona Coyotes of the NHL will be playing in Mullett Arena through the 2026 season while they construct their arena in another section of Tempe. The 5,000-seat capacity of the Mullett Arena makes it the smallest venue in the NHL. It also has driven ticket prices sky high, as the demand for tickets is much higher than the number of seats available. Indirectly, this has helped the college program, as fans get to enjoy hockey and the new arena at a much lower ticket price.

Neighborhood 4

The Mullett Arena is located within the athletic complex of Arizona State University. Its neighbors include the Sun Devil Football Stadium, Desert Financial Basketball Arena, and the Joe Salleh Track and Field Complex.

Mill Avenue is less than a mile west of Mullett Arena. It is full of restaurants, bars, and shops.

The school has negotiated special rates for fans of the visiting teams at the Hilton Garden Inn Tempe and the Homewood Suites Tempe. Simply ask for the ASU Sun Devils rate. Fans looking for a place to wet their whistle should check out the Pedal Haus Brewery or the Devil’s Advocate Sports Grill, which are both within walking distance of the arena.

Access 4

Mullett Arena is easily accessed by car or by using public transportation.

From the north/ Airport/West Valley: Take the Loop 202 Freeway to Exit 7 (Scottsdale/Rural Road) Head south on Rural Road. Turn right at Rio Salado Parkway. Turn left at Packard Drive and the arena will be on your left.

From the south: Take exit 7 off of the Loop 202 Freeway and go north onto Rural Road. Turn left at East 6th Street. Turn right at Packard Drive and the arena will be on your right.

Mullett Arena is also accessible via Valley Metro Rail. Exit at the Veterans Way/College Avenue Station and follow the signs to Mullett Arena.

Since the arena is on the ASU campus, many students choose to bike or skateboard to games. Storage lockers are available for these modes of transportation on the plaza outside of the arena.

Parking for ASU hockey games is available at the Packard Parking structure just across the street from the arena. The garage opens for spectators three hours before the puck drop.

The Mullett Arena doors open one hour before the puck drop, leaving you plenty of time to visit the concession areas before going to your seats.

Fans 5

Now that the hockey program is located on campus, the student body is showing up for the games in much greater numbers. They are very vocal in their cheers for the home team and their jeers when the visiting team scores or is assessed time in the penalty box.

The student section is located at the west end of the rink and is known as the home of the Mullett Maniacs or “the Inferno” section. Students can also sit in these seats for Coyote games, adding a distinctive collegiate flavor to an NHL contest.

Another portion of the fanbase is adult hockey fans that could not get tickets to the NHL games due to the venue’s small capacity. They have adopted the college team to get their hockey fix.

Return on Investment 3

Hockey tends to be more expensive than other sports to attend. This is due to the limited number of home dates on the schedule, and the expense of maintaining the ice surface.

Mullett Arena has three price levels for tickets. The least expensive tickets are at the ends of the rink behind the goals and cost $40. Seats along the sides of the rink are $45. Seats at center ice are $150.

Parking in the Packard Parking structure is $10 for prepaid parkers and $15 for gameday parking purchases. The fare for persons using Valley Metro Rail is $4 roundtrip.

We’ve discussed the concession prices in depth in our food and beverage section. The arena concessions prices are more at an NHL level than a college facility level.

Extras 3

In addition to Sun Devil ice hockey, Mullett Arena is also home to the ASU wrestling and gymnastics programs.

The arena often distributes mullet wigs to the student section as a play on words on the arena’s name.

Mullett Arena has ASU hockey memorabilia on display all around the venue. This includes sections featuring the team’s uniforms through the years, the ACHA National Championship trophy, and salutes to Sun Devil players who have gone on to play professionally.

Final Thoughts

While Mullett Arena has been panned as an NHL venue due to its small capacity and lack of NHL-level amenities, it shines as the college-level home of the Sun Devils. It offers a great gameday experience for both players and fans. The Inferno student section adds to the college vibe in the on-campus arena. I guess you could say I’m the (Sun) Devil’s advocate for this new venue!

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