The Phoenix Suns have unveiled plans for a $230 million renovation to Talking Stick Resort Arena, previewing upgrades to amenities such as seating, premium areas, and technology.
Back in January, the Phoenix City Council approved a $150 million contribution from the city’s Sports Facilities Fund toward the $230 million public-private partnership with the team. Planning for the renovation has progressed to the point where the Suns have been releasing details on the project, including the unveiling earlier this month of a redesigned Casino Arizona Pavilion that will feature 8,500-square feet of LED screens and a communal space with views of the arena’s inner bowl.
On Thursday, the Suns unveiled several more upgrades that will be completed as part of the project. New cushioned seats will be installed throughout the arena, while the Suns are also planning to add two corner bars inside the bowl at the main concourse level. In addition, the main concourse will be expanded as the arena upgrades its food and beverage offerings.
From a technology perspective, there are plenty of upgrades in the works. A new 3,550-square foot centerhung videoboard will be installed, and will be six times the size of Talking Stick Resort Arena’s current display. The Suns will also install two new LED ribbon boards that ring the lower and upper bowls, while working with Verizon to implement 5G coverage.
Premium areas will also be addressed in the project. When the renovation is complete, Talking Stick Resort Arena will offer 11 different types of club and suite experiences, including 55 total suites, eight additional theatre boxes, new VIP clubs, and the exclusive club 1968–named in honor of the year that the Suns began play. Meanwhile, Lower Bowl seat holders in sideline rows 1-6 will have a new perk with exclusive access to court-level clubs on the East and West sides of the arena.
In discussing the renovations, Suns owner Robert Sarver noted how some of the new amenities could help the team draw a wider fan base. Talking Stick Resort Arena renovations are set to be completed in phases, with the majority of the work expected to be finished ahead of the 2020-21 NBA season and remaining construction to conclude by the 2021-22 campaign. More from CNBC:
Additional features of the upgrade include a 15,000-square-foot kitchen and a corner bar located in the bowl section of the arena. The bar is something Sarver says will attract the Suns’ younger fanbase, as the team will look to take advantage of Arizona State University’s downtown campus with 12,000 students.
“We have a bigger pool to draw from, and the products that we put in place are tailored towards that pool of students,” Sarver said.
Sarver said the transformation should be 60% completed before the 2020-21 NBA season, with the second phase completed before the start of the 2021-22 season. Sarver added that the building would be closed next summer as “a lot of the heavy construction will take place.”
As part of the renovation deal, the Suns agreed to privately finance a new training facility within the City of Phoenix to replace existing practice space at Talking Stick Resort Arena. A groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility, to be located on 44th Street, just north of Camelback Road, was held last week with the expectation that the training center will open late summer 2020.
Renderings courtesy HOK.
RELATED STORIES: Ground Broken on Phoenix Suns Training Facility; Phoenix Suns Unveil New Arizona Casino Pavilion Rendering; Mercury to Play 2020 Season at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum; What to Watch in Talking Stick Resort Arena Renovation Project; Phoenix Approves Talking Stick Resort Arena Renovations; Poll: Most Likely Voters Support Talking Stick Resort Arena Renovation Deal When Given Facts; Adam Silver: It’d Be a Personal Failure if Phoenix Suns Move; Robert Sarver: I’m Committed to Keeping the Suns in Phoenix; Talking Stick Resort Arena Renovation Vote Delayed; Talking Stick Resort Arena Renovation Deal Set for Vote; Report: Tentative Deal Reached for Talking Stick Resort Arena Renovations; Phoenix Suns Arena Discussions Taking Place; Phoenix Suns Still Sorting Through Arena Options; Phoenix Extends Contract on Talking Stick Resort Arena Study; Officials Balk at Talking Stick Resort Arena Plans; Phoenix Ends Talking Stick Resort Arena Renovation Discussions; Phoenix Mayoral Candidates Speak Out Against Talking Stick Resort Arena Renovation; Phoenix Suns: No Plans to Share Arena With Coyotes; Suns, Arizona Coyotes Working on Arena Plans