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​Page Last Updated at 12:01 p.m. February 24, 2020. Page may be updated to make further clarifications.

Feb. 20, 2020: Arena Renovation Update 

Read the most recent report updating the Phoenix City Council on the Talking Stick Resort Arena renovations, including recent community meetings, guest experience upgrades, infrastructure improvements and a timeline of future activities.

Talking Stick Resort Arena Update (PDF)

Dec. 17, 2019: Trade Partner Outreach Event

Attention local and small businesses! Project 201: Transformation of Talking Stick Resort Arena is seeking vendors & suppliers! Attend a Trade Partner Outreach Event on Dec. 17, 2019. Learn more about the project & scope of work which includes these trades: Demolition, drywall, concrete, masonry, structural steel, glazing, glass railing systems, site utilities, roofing work & more! Reserve a spot online. Download PDF with more information or reserve a spot online for the event.  

July 5, 2019: City Selects Owner’s Rep to Facilitate Talking Stick Resort Arena Renovation

On June 5, 2019 the Phoenix City Council authorized a contract with PC Sports (PDF) to act as the city’s owner’s representative on the Arena renovation project. PC Sports will work with city staff to ensure the renovation is implemented as agreed and city funds are utilized only for public infrastructure authorized by City Council. PC Sports specializes in helping owners manage risks and ensure project specifications, scheduling, and budgeting needs are met.

Arena Construction

Throughout 2019 critical plumbing and infrastructure repairs will continue at the Arena, sometimes with the help of a crane located on the site. For additional information, please contact Jeremy Legg with the City’s Community & Economic Development Department at 602-534-6451 or jeremy.legg@phoenix.gov

Proposed Arena Agreement Passed

At the January 23, 2019 City Council meeting, after nearly three hours of discussion and public comment, the Proposed Arena Agreement passed 6-2. Watch video from City Council meeting or Review the Adopted Ordinances.


Talking Stick Resort Arena main entranceThis public information page was created to provide background information and updates on the current status of the city-owned Talking Stick Resort Arena located at 201 E. Jefferson Street in downtown Phoenix.

The Phoenix City Council has requested public input on the Arena and we welcome public comments online at ArenaComments@Phoenix.gov or by phone at 602-262-7177. You may access internet-enabled computers for free at any Phoenix Public Library location.

Also on this page, you can watch videos from the five public meetings or download public meeting documents. In addition, you can review Arena-related economic information, an F.A.Q. section and reference documents dating from the inception of the facility in 1989 to the latest proposed agreement between the city and the Suns, who operate and maintain the building. Finally, you can also review the proposed Arena renovation preliminary cost estimates.

Public MeetingsEconomic ImpactJobs & BusinessF.A.Q.Reference DocumentsComments  

On the video, use the upper lefthand corner icon (hamburger menu) to select a specific meeting video. You can choose from one of the five public meeting videos or the City Council meeting where the vote was taken.

Arena Overview

Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix is owned by the city and its residents and operated by the Phoenix Suns. It is a multipurpose building that opened in 1992. Since the late 1980s the city's share of capital expenses on the Arena has been funded through the city’s Sports Facilities Fund, designated by the City Council through an ordinance comprised primarily of tax revenue from tourists on rental cars and hotels. Since 1992, the Suns have paid over $300 million in operating expenses. In nearly three decades, the Arena has hosted more than 40 million guests. Annually, the Arena hosts about 130 ticketed events, including concerts, professional sports, family shows and conventions, and over 200 non-ticketed community events, including youth sports and non-proft organizations.

Phoenix MercuryAZ RattlersPHX Suns The building is home to three professional sports teams: The Phoenix Suns, the Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona RattlersMajor concerts and events have included Beyonce, U2, Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, Vicente Fernández, Shakira, Imagine Dragons, Drake, Lady Gaga, Disney on Ice®, World Wrestling Entertainment®, the Harlem Globetrotters® and Cirque Du Soleil®. The Arena has also hosted national conferences including the American Legion, Assemblies of God, Volleyball Festival National Championships and media day for the 2015 Super Bowl®.

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Voice Your Opinion

Let your voice be heard. We welcome your comments. Email ArenaComments@Phoenix.gov. When you submit an email it falls under the city's policy which states that the email message is: (1) subject to public disclosure under the Public Records Law, (2) is not private or confidential and (3) is retained for 90 days. You may also call 602-262-7177 to leave a comment. You may access internet-enabled computers for free at any Phoenix Public Library location.

Current Status

Suns basketball. Photo copyright NBA/Suns.

While the city owns the building, the Phoenix Arena Development Limited Partnership (PADLP) oversees the day-to-day operation of the Arena. The PADLP is an affiliate of the Suns. The contract between the city (“landlord”) and the PADLP (“operator”) could expires as early as 2022. This contract has been in place since 1992 when the Arena was built under a partnership between the city and the Suns. The operating agreement has remained in place since 1992.

This contract includes a legal requirement that addresses building obsolescence. On July 1, 2019, the Suns can invoke this obsolescence clause. If they do, the city and the Suns must select arbitrators who will then conduct a hearing, take testimony and decide whether the building – after nearly 30 years – has become obsolete. The arbitrators must consider three factors in determining obsolescence: (1) the building’s physical deterioration; (2) its functional obsolescence; and (3) its revenue-generating capacity. The arbitrators will calculate the dollar amount necessary for the city to renovate the building so that it is no longer obsolete by this standard. The city must then enter into a binding agreement with the Suns to make all necessary improvements by 2023 solely at the city's expense. If the city refuses, the Suns may terminate their lease 10 years early, by July 2022.

Corroded and rusty, leaky pipe (Left). Clogged waste pipe (Right)
Corroded and rusty, leaky pipe (Left). Clogged waste pipe (Right).

Because the Arena’s infrastructure (plumbing, mechanical, electrical, roof and structural) is now nearly 30 years old, it must be replaced. The City and the Suns have been partners for almost 30 years, and in the past three years the City and Suns management have been discussing how to avoid the obsolescence clause, to renovate the building together and to extend the Suns commitment to play in the Arena. While PADLP pays for day-to-day operations and maintenance of the building, the city, as landlord, is responsible for renovations.

City management recently proposed a new agreement between the city and the operator to renovate the building and commit the team to stay in downtown Phoenix until at least 2037. Details of the proposed agreement are below. The City Council will review the proposed agreement on January 23, 2019. Before then, there will be a series of meetings to gather public comments and ask questions. The Council also requested Arena information be posted to Phoenix.gov.

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January 2019 Public Meetings

The first public meeting was held at Talking Stick Resort ArenaFive meetings were held in January to inform the public about about the proposed Arena agreement. The meetings also allowed residents to submit feedback and ask questions. If you couldn't attend, watch videos from the meetings or download meeting documents.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

9:00–11:00 a.m. Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ 85004. Park for free at Jefferson Street Garage located at 3rd Street & Jefferson. Watch video from this meeting

Monday, January 7, 2019

6:00–8:00 p.m. Paradise Valley Community Center, 17402 N. 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85032, 602-495-3777. Watch video from this meeting

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

6:00–8:00 p.m. Goelet A. C. Beuf Community Center, 3435 W. Pinnacle Peak Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85027, 602-534-4754. Watch video from this meeting

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

6:00–8:00 p.m. South Mountain Community Center, 212 E. Alta Vista Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85042, 602-262-4874. Watch video from this meeting

Thursday, January 10, 2019

6:00–8:00 p.m. Desert West Community Center, 6501 W. Virginia Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85035 (67th Ave, south of Thomas Rd), 602-495-3700. Watch video from this meeting

Public Meetings Documents

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Economic Impact

The Arena generates $335 million of annual direct, indirect, and induced impact for the city of Phoenix, Maricopa County and the state of Arizona. This revenue includes:

  • $182M = Direct spending: hotels, tickets, food/drink and retail. Taxes from utilities, commercial leases, residential property tax and discretionary spending for employees who work there.

  • $153M = Indirect & induced impact (jobs dependent on Arena events): Servers at nearby restaurants, hotel staff, parking garage attendants, suppliers and vendors for Arena operations.

  • $12.8M = Direct annual revenue to the city: These funds are put back into the city for services including police, fire, streets, parks, library, etc.

  • $14M = Direct tax revenue to the county and state.

† Source: City of Phoenix Community and Economic Development Department

Jobs & Business

  • In the Arena: 380 full-time employees and over 700 event-day employees, including maintenance crews, administrative staff, food servers, ticket takers, security, parking attendants, and creative arts staff.

  • Supporting the Arena: 1,140 employees including truck drivers, printers, engineers, carpenters, auditors, etc.

  • Businesses that directly support the Arena: More than 100 local businesses, including concessionaires, HVAC support, caterers, printing companies, and more.

‡ Source: City of Phoenix Community and Economic Development Department and Phoenix Suns 

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Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

F.A.Q. compiled from various sources including the Phoenix Community and Economic and Development Department, Phoenix Convention Center, the Suns, city contracts and agreements.

Question 1: When was the Arena built, and why does it need to be renovated?

Answer: Work began on the city’s multipurpose venue (Talking Stick Resort Arena) in downtown Phoenix in 1989. The facility opened in 1992, and has since hosted more than 40 million guests. Millions of Arena visitors have enjoyed concerts, family shows, conventions, professional sports, and youth sports games (including YMCA and high school basketball and volleyball).

The building's infrastructure is now approaching 30 years old. For example, basic plumbing, electrical, the roof and mechanical equipment needs replacement, loading docks and concourses are smaller than today's multipurpose arenas, and building technology is becoming outdated. 

Question 2: Why is the city considering the renovation?

Answer: As the owner of the building, the city is responsible for renovating the building. The facility is nearly 30 years old. The 550,000 square foot facility has 7 stories with plumbing, mechanical, electrical, roof and structural issues all in need of renovation. The building's numerous elevators, escalators, and concourses have all been impacted by wear and tear with over a million visitors on an annual basis. 

Bathroom sanitary pipe (Left). Corrosion on riser (Right)
Bathroom sanitary pipe (Left). Corrosion on riser (Right).

Under the proposed agreement, the city is primarily paying infrastructure costs and the city and the Suns would share the renovation costs. In addition, there will be no new taxes, as the city would continue to use the same funding source, the Sports Facilities Fund, made up primarily of taxes on hotels and rental cars, to pay for the renovation. The Suns will spend an estimated $25 to $50 million to build a new practice facility in Phoenix, continue to pay for all operations and maintenance on the building (like the team has done since 1992), continue paying the city rent and contribute to capital expenses for future repairs.

Question 3: How does the proposed agreement work?

Answer: The agreement keeps the city’s nearly 30-year-old Arena viable through at least 2037. The city and Suns would partner on a $230 million renovation, as well as future capital replacement. The city’s portion is $150 million, and the Suns portion is at least $80 million. The Suns will be responsible for 100% of any cost overruns. Plus, the Suns are paying to build a new practice facility in Phoenix estimated between $25 and $50 million. Additionally, the Suns will be responsible for all operating, event and maintenance expenses for the entire term. The Suns are also obligated to pay the city operating fees (rent), which is estimated at approximately $60 million over the term. The proposed agreement also extends the lease for 15 years.  Details of proposed agreement below.

Question 4: How will the city pay for the renovation?

Answer: The funding for the proposed renovation is coming from the Suns and the city of Phoenix. The city’s portion is paid from the Sports Facilities Fund. This Fund was established by the City Council in the late 1980s and is comprised of taxes primarily from tourists who use Phoenix hotels and rental cars.

Similar to the original 1989 agreement, the city will finance its cost through bonds to be repaid over 18 years.

Question 5: Why is the Arena significant to Phoenix?

Answer: The Arena has been a downtown anchor for nearly 30 years and is important to the vitality of downtown and the region. The multipurpose facility is the only one of its kind in Phoenix, providing unique opportunities for the community to enjoy concerts, family shows, professional sports, and community events. It generates tax revenue for citywide services, including $12.8 million for the city, and $14 million for Maricopa County and the State of Arizona. The Arena supports over 100 local businesses throughout Arizona and is directly responsible for 1,140 jobs with $82 million in payroll. The direct annual economic impact of the Arena is $182 million.

Question 6: How many events does the Arena host annually, and how much revenue do they generate?

Answer: On average, the Arena hosts an event every three days, roughly 130 major ticketed events each year including concerts, family shows, conventions and professional sports events, and over 200 community events. A breakdown of 2018 major events is illustrated in the graphic below.

The annual direct, indirect and induced economic impact of the Arena is $335 million. The Arena’s activities support 380 full-time jobs and over 700 event-day employees at the Arena and another 1,140 jobs across the Valley. The Arena also generates about $12.8 million in direct revenue for the city annually, and about $14 million in tax revenue for Maricopa County and the State of Arizona.

Yearly Arena Events: 33% Suns, 16% Mercury, 7% Rattlers, 22% Concerts, 19% Family Events, 3% Other Events 

Question 7: What happens if the Arena is not used for professional sports?

Answer: Even if the Arena is not renovated for basketball or Arena football, city staff estimates the nearly 30-year-old facility would still require millions in renovations to be able to support concerts and other major special events. The city owns the building and the plumbing, mechanical, electrical, roof and certain structural aspects need replacing.

Question 8: What’s the scope of some of the repairs that are needed? I heard there's plumbing work going on. What does that include?

Answer: Major building systems including electrical, mechanical, technology infrastructure (that serves security systems), and overall infrastructure all require replacement.

As for the plumbing, there are approximately 12 miles of waste and vent pipes that need to be replaced. This is just the beginning of the plumbing repairs required. In another example, the four main public restrooms need 507 plumbing fixtures replaced. The walls behind these plumbing fixtures must be demolished to access the waste, vent and domestic water lines, which need to be replaced through all seven floors of the Arena.

Question 9: Why is the city paying more than the Suns?

Answer: The city owns the Arena and is responsible for it. Since planning for the Arena began in 1989, the city has invested about $80 million in original construction plus repair projects (capital) and the Suns paid about $150 million. The proposed $230 million renovation would be funded with $150 million from the city and $80 million from the Suns. Any costs more than $230 million must be paid by the Suns. The new agreements would also require the Suns to pay rent (operating fees) to the city, estimated at about $60 million total through 2037. Also, the Suns will build a new estimated $25 to $50 million practice facility at their expense in Phoenix. Without an agreement, an independent arbitrator will decide how much money the city will be solely obligated to spend on renovations without any support from the Suns.

The charts below show the amount of money spent on the Arena’s original construction, plus subsequent repair projects. On the left, spending from 1989 through 2018. On the right, anticipated spending from 1989 through 2037. The chart below does not include the estimated $25-50 million the Suns will pay for a new practice facility per the proposed agreement.

Historic Arena Capital Investment: $80M City of Phoenix and $150M Suns and Total Arena Capital Investment (proposed through 2037): $263M City of Phoenix and $242.5M Suns 

Question 10: What if the renovations cost more than anticipated?

Answer: The city's contribution for the renovation will be capped at $150 million. The proposed agreement stipulates that the Suns will be responsible for any cost overruns.

Question 11: Can the Suns leave after the renovation?

Answer: No, not without a cost. Under the proposed agreement, the Suns have committed to play their home games at the city’s Arena through at least 2037. Should they relocate prior to then, they have agreed to pay the city up to $200 million in liquidated damages.

Question 12: Can the Sports Facilities Fund be used for other purposes, like funding police officers or fixing pot holes?

Answer: The use of the Sports Facilities Fund is designated by City Council through an ordinance. It was set up in the late 1980s to fund the Arena and promote tourism in the downtown area. Changes to the ordinance would require action by the City Council.

The funds have already been used for a variety of downtown related and Council approved projects, including:
  • The city's share of the 2018 renovation of the Maryvale Baseball Park
  • The city's share of the downtown bio-science campus land
  • Costs for some downtown police and security
  • Tourism promotion

This fund would also support maintaining the building in case the Suns (“operator”) no longer occupy the building.

Question 13: Is General Fund money part of this agreement?

Answer: No. The city’s General Fund is made up from sales taxes and general fees. Those taxes go directly to services like police, fire, parks and the library.

The Sports Facilities Fund was created with the intent to have tourists primarily fund the Arena, sports, and related projects with rental car and hotel fees. Tourism is one of Arizona’s top economic industries. 

Question 14: How big is the Arena?

Answer: The Arena is approximately 550,000 square feet and has seven stories. For perspective, an average grocery store is approximately 70,000 square feet and one story. The Arena sits on nine acres, which is equivalent to three city blocks. The Arena is the smallest and oldest facility to not undergo a significant renovation in the NBA.

Question 15: How long will it take to renovate the Arena?

Answer: The proposed renovation would take place between 2019 and 2021.

Question 16: Why not just tear it down and start over?

Answer: A renovation is significantly more cost-effective than building a new Arena. Recently built Arenas have cost between $500-900 million. Additionally, construction time for a large multipurpose building could take two to three years and that could mean lost revenue to local businesses, and the city, county and state while concerts, conventions, family shows and professional sporting events that use the Arena would have to find a temporary venue, possibly outside of Phoenix.

Question 17: Will the Arena be closed during renovations?

Answer: The Suns will continue to play their home games at the Arena during the renovation. The facility will also continue to host concerts, family shows, conventions and other sporting events. However, there will be periods during the NBA off-season (between May and September) when the Arena will have to close, which will have an impact on event activities. And during the renovation, the Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers will temporarily have to play home games on a different court.

Question 18: Why should the city pay for this renovation?

Answer: The city owns the Arena and is responsible for renovating the building. The Suns have partnered with the city since 1992 to operate and manage the building. After hosting more than 40 million guests over more than a quarter century, the building has experienced wear and tear. Repairs and replacements for large public assembly facilities like the Arena are costly. In this case, the city owns the building and is the landlord, the Suns are a tenant and are committing to help share some of the costs.

Question 19: Why is a new practice facility part of the proposed agreement?

Answer: Since 1992, the team's practice facility has been inside the Arena. Because of the size constraints of the Arena, the practice facility needs to be moved outside the building. The proposed agreement commits the Suns to constructing this new practice facility at their expense in the city of Phoenix, but separate from the Arena building itself. This estimated $25-50 million facility creates opportunity inside the Arena to maximize space for updates and renovations.

Question 20: What about hockey? Will this renovation make the Arena suitable for professional hockey?

Answer: The proposed renovation is planned to allow the Arena to continue hosting ice events, such as Disney On Ice®. However, since the building was originally designed for a professional basketball court (which is smaller than a hockey rink), it would be significantly more expensive to remodel the Arena for professional hockey. This type of change would require modifying the building's footprint to expand beyond the current property.

Question 21: What happens to current practice areas?

Answer: The footprint of the Arena is very small by current standards. By having the Suns move the practice courts outside of the Arena footprint, that frees up much needed space.

The existing practice areas of the Arena will be repurposed for other essential building functions. For instance, circulation and storage areas need to be expanded to run the building more efficiently and effectively. Posted January 17, 2019.

Question 22: What is the principal and interest on the bond payments?

Answer: If the city contributes the maximum amount of $150 million proposed in the term sheet, and funds the entire contribution with bonds, principal and interest payments are estimated to be approximately $13.7 million annually for 18 years. Total interest over the 18-year life of the bonds is estimated to be $96 million, making the total principal and interest approximately $246 million. The interest rate used for the estimate was 5.75%, but the actual interest rate cannot be determined until the bonds are sold. All of the funds for the bond payments will come from the Sports Facilities Fund. Posted January 17, 2019.

Question 23: How much money has been spent from the Sports Facilities Fund?

Answer: From 2000 through 2012, approximately $11.6 million was spent annually from the Sports Facilities Fund. The majority of the funds were spent on debt service payments for the Arena bonds and other downtown and tourism investments. For example, the Phoenix biomedical campus and sports and entertainment venues like the Ak-Chin Pavilion parking lot and the renovation of the Maryvale Baseball Park. There are also annual costs for tourism promotion and downtown police and security. Beginning in fiscal year 2013, the Sports Facilities Fund was utilized to help supplement payments on the bonds for the city-owned hotel, increasing the annual spending to approximately $23 million for fiscal years 2013 through 2015. In 2018 the city sold the hotel, significantly reducing annual debt service on the remaining hotel debt. The final payment on the existing Arena bonds will be paid in 2019. Posted January 17, 2019.

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​Reference Documents

Download and review information about the Arena, including contracts and other supplemental information.

Resolutions 15143 (1979) and 15376 (1988) established and amended the Downtown Area Redevelopment and Improvement Plan and created the Downtown Redevelopment Area. The redevelopment was necessary to address a slum area in the interest of public health, safety, and welfare of the residents.

As part of the improvement plan, the city issued a Request for Proposals for development and operation, including a multipurpose Arena to support the redevelopment and revitalization of downtown Phoenix, the convention industry and the local economy. The Arena Operating Agreement below was first established in 1989 between the city of Phoenix and The Phoenix Arena Development Limited Partnership (PADLP).

The Assurance Agreement is between the city and the Suns and ensures the team plays its home games inside the Arena; this also includes the obsolescence clause.

The original Arena Disposition and Development Agreement for the original planning and construction of the city's building.

The Advertising Agreement gives authority to sell advertising inside the city-owned building.

The Team License Agreement governs the team's use of the city-owned Arena.

The suite licensing and marketing agreements provide authorization and guidelines for use and marketing of the Suites in the Arena.

Trust Agreement documents (beginning in 1996) related to the Arena's renewal and replacement account to renovate the facility.

In 2015, the city issued a Request for Proposals for Sports Facility Consulting Services to advise the city and to do analysis for the obsolescence arbitration with the Suns and for related negotiations. Barrett Sports Group was the successful proposer. Request for Proposals, award letter, contract and amendments are below.

In response to questions from several councilmembers, this report was published in May 2016 to explain the Sports Facilities Special Revenue Fund.

Proposed Agreement Documents

Ordinance S-45265 requests authorization to use Sports Facilities Funds to facilitate the renovation and extend the useful life of the city-owned downtown Arena.

  • A $230M renovation.
  • The city’s contribution will be capped at $150M.
  • Suns to pay $80M and any construction overruns.
  • Suns continue to share profits and pay the city rent, which is estimated to be $60M in rent and profit share to the city over the 15-year term.
  • Suns will continue to pay 100% of the operations and maintenance costs.
  • Suns will build a practice facility in Phoenix estimated at $25–$50M; this facility will also pay construction sales tax and property tax.
  • The city and the Suns will both contribute to a new Renewal & Replacement account for infrastructure needs. The city will pay $2M annually and the Suns $1M annually.
  • The Suns commit to staying in the Arena until 2037.
  • Renovations will take place 2019–2021.

The Term Sheet sets forth the key terms, process, and negotiation framework for an agreement regarding the potential financing, design, development, renovation, operation, use, maintenance, and repair of the Arena renovation.

Upon approval by the Council, Ordinance S-45265 authorizes issuing obligations and taking actions necessary or appropriate to finance or reimburse costs for repairing, renovating and updating the Arena.

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Proposed Arena Renovation Preliminary Cost Estimates

Posted January 17, 2019. Review preliminary cost estimates of renovations including: seating bowl, event level, main concourse, lower suite A, upper suite level B, upper concourse; roof and structural upgrades; exterior wall and building envelope; technology and security; signage and graphics; mechanical, electrical, plumbing and communication systems; furniture, fixture, and equipment; artwork, food service and equipment upgrades; elevators and escalators.

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Adopted Ordinances

Below are the amended ordinances adopted by the Phoenix City Council during the Jan. 23 meeting. This includes the new amendments proposed at the Jan. 23 meeting and also authorizes the financing of the Arena renovations, and approval to enter into the renovation agreement with the Phoenix Arena Development Limited Partnership.

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Email ArenaComments@Phoenix.gov. Please note when you submit an email it falls under the city's policy which states that the email message is: (1) subject to public disclosure under the Public Records Law, (2) is not private or confidential and (3) is retained for 90 days. You may also call 602-262-7177 to leave a comment. You may access internet-enabled computers for free at any Phoenix Public Library location.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them. Use of any copyright images is for non-commerical news reporting/illustrative use only.

PHX Communications Office

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Mayor Thelda Williams' Statement
District 4: Councilwoman Laura Pastor’s Statement
District 7: Councilman Michael Nowakowski's Statement
District 8: Councilwoman Felicita Mendoza's Statement

Clogged grease waste pipe (Left). Failed air handler (Right).
Clogged grease waste pipe (Left). Failed air handler (Right).

the infrastructure to make ice of the thickness and quality necessary for professional hockey is expensive and not planned. Additionally, as NHL fans may recall from their prior tenure in the Arena, the geometry of the seating bowl is such that many seats are obstructed, meaning thousands of fans could not see one of the nets from their seats. Though fixing that sightline problem is theoretically possible, it would require extensive demolition and rebuilding, well beyond the scope and budget of the proposed renovation.

Question X21: What events are held at the Arena?

Answer: The Arena hosts concerts, family shows, conventions and professional sports including football and men’s and women’s basketball. There are about 130 major events at the Arena annually, and many more smaller events and meetings. A breakdown of 2018 major events is outlined below.

Yearly Arena Events: 33% Suns, 16% Mercury, 7% Rattlers, 22% Concerts, 19% Family Events, 3% Other Events 

Question X: What do businesses in the downtown want?

Answer: There are many diverse businesses in and around the downtown across a variety of sectors. Hotels, restaurants, bars and retail benefit from the activity during events that occur routinely at the Arena. Other businesses may enjoy having easy access to world-class events nearby for their employees or clients while being in a large metropolitan city with positive branding related to their location in the downtown. Read Phoenix Community Alliance opinion piece on the value the Arena brings to downtown on AZCentral.com/Arizona Republic. 

Question X: What’s at stake if we don’t renovate the Arena?

Answer: If the city does not partner with the Suns on this proposed renovation, the Suns could leave downtown Phoenix after the 2021-22 NBA season, and the city could possibly pay for the entire renovation instead of sharing the costs with the Suns.

Since 1992, the city and the Suns have worked together as partners under a legal agreement. That agreement contains an obsolescence clause which means if the building becomes obsolete the Suns organization can leave. (Obsolete in this case means when a building is no longer functioning the way it was intended or the way it used to.) This then places the decision on what happens in the city-owned Arena in the hands of an independent arbitration panel. If the arbitrators determine that the Arena is obsolete, the city would then face a choice: either (A) spend 100% of the cost the arbitrators rule is necessary to update the Arena, or (B) let the Suns leave as of July 1, 2022. And even if the city chooses option (A), it only keeps the Suns in the Arena for 10 years, until 2032, instead of the current proposed contract that keeps the Suns in downtown Phoenix for 15 to 20 years, has the team partner to share costs.

Question X: Did the sale of the hotel help finance this renovation?

Answer: The city of Phoenix originally developed, and previously owned the Sheraton Grand Phoenix hotel in the downtown. The city sold the hotel in June of 2018. The only relationship between the hotel and the Arena is that some of the hotel’s expenses were at one time also paid out of the Sports Facilities Fund because the funds are also used for downtown-related projects.

Also, the Sports Facilities Fund pays for the expenses on the Arena, but much of the revenue, approximately $12 million, from the Arena goes back into the city’s General Fund.

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To see the city of Phoenix's RFQ to procure an owner's rep to facilitate the City's oversight of the arena renovations, visit Phoenix.gov/Solicitations/1865.

For information about procurements being managed by the Arena operator, the Suns, please visit the Talking Stick Resort Arena's website TalkingStickResortArena.com.

 Content Editor ‭[4]‬