The Phoenix City Council approved $230 million in Talking Stick Resort Arena renovations, ensuring the NBA’s Phoenix Suns stay downtown until at least 2037.
The city will pay for $150 million of the renovations from the Sports Facilities Fund, funded by taxes on car rentals and hotel stays. The team will pay the remainder.
Much of the spending will be spent on infrastructure — the sort of thing needed for daily operations but perhaps not readily apparent in enhancing the fan experience, like electrical and plumbing systems. Time was of the essence to address these issues. The current lease between the Suns and the city allows the team to opt out of the agreement in 2022 if the venue is deemed obsolete. Talking Stick Resort Arena is currently the fifth-oldest arena in the NBA, and some venues that predate it–including Minnesota’s Target Center and Utah’s Vivint Smart Home Arena–recently underwent major renovations.
The 6-2 vote came after the Suns made some concessions, including a commitment to spend $10 million on community programs and preschool programs. The Suns will also pay $1.5 million additionally in rent — money the city is earmarking for homeless programs — and dedicate additional money in a dedicated maintenance fund.
Image courtesy Visit Phoenix.
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