The Phoenix City Council has opted to extend its contract with the firm studying the future of Talking Stick Resort Arena, home to the NBA’s Phoenix Suns.
Back in February of this year, the city council approved a $75,000 contract with Barrett Sports Group. As part of that arrangement, the firm was to conduct a study that evaluated the feasibility of and presented financial details on a potential renovation of Talking Stick Resort Arena. Thus far, however, councilmembers are saying that they have not seen a report on the cost of upgrading the venue.
In a recent decision, the city council voted 7-2 to approve a one-year contract extension with Barrett Sports Group that is worth $125,000. With this vote, some councilmembers are hoping that more information on the future of Talking Stick Resort Arena will be brought to light. More from The Arizona Republic:
At a meeting Wednesday, council members indicated that they have not yet seen a report on renovation costs from the consultant, despite multiple requests. But they voted 7-2 to extend the contract for another year — and another $125,000.
The council has met in closed-door executive session meetings for months with representatives from Barrett Sports Group and the Phoenix Suns. But multiple council members indicated they had expected a written outline of potential costs, which — if completed — has not been provided to council.
“When this item first came forward, we were told they would come up with a list of costs for the rehab. For example, how much we would need for a functioning plumbing system, which seemed like a reasonable cost to me. And then other costs which, I for one, would not prioritize in these difficult budget times,” Councilwoman Kate Gallego said. “So I had asked to get a list of the work product and have not been able to see that yet.”
Councilman Sal DiCiccio agreed with Gallego, and said he’d heard a report produced by either Barrett Sports Group or the Suns is already in city staff’s possession but has not been provided to the council.
This summer, the Suns revealed that they would pursue renovations to Talking Stick Resort Arena rather than attempt to construct a new facility. In more recent months, however, reports have indicated that renovation talks with the city have broken down.
The downtown Phoenix venue opened in 1992. For the 2017-18 season, Talking Stick Resort Arena is the sixth-oldest facility in the NBA and some of the venues that predate it–including Minnesota’s Target Center and Utah’s Vivint Smart Home Arena–recently underwent major renovations.
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