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Phoenix City Council to vote on $230M Suns arena renovation

December 7, 2018

PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix City Council will vote on a $230 million renovation deal that would keep the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix.

The council is set to vote Wednesday on the deal, which would revamp the nearly 30-year-old arena, the oldest in the NBA that is not currently undergoing renovations.

The NBA has been asking the city for a new or significantly updated arena for years but has been unable to get the council to publicly consider a deal until now.

Details of the plan were released publicly Thursday night.

The Suns committed to a 40-year lease in 1992, but the agreement includes a provision for the Suns to opt out at 30 years (2022) if the building is considered obsolete.

The new agreement would extend the contract through 2037, with the option to add five more years.

Renovations would occur between 2019 and 2021.

Under the plan, the city would be on the hook for $150 million of the renovation. The money would come from the city’s Sports Facilities Fund, which is made up of tourism tax money.

The Suns would pay $80 million and be responsible for any costs over the $230 million mark.

After the renovation, Phoenix will pay $2 million annually for 12½ years into a new renewal and replacement fund, which will be used for future renovation needs.

The city and the Suns broke off talks about a $450 million renovation deal last November.

Former Councilwoman Kate Gallego, who will face Daniel Valenzuela in a runoff election for Phoenix mayor next year, has said she opposes public investment in an arena.

Valenzuela has also said he does not support tax money being used for sports venues.

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