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Phoenix Suns arena deal given green light

The Phoenix City Council has approved a $230m (£176m/€203m) renovation plan for Talking Stick Resort Arena, ensuring the future of the Suns NBA basketball team in the city until at least 2037.

The arena has served as the Suns’ home since 1992. The team last month agreed a deal to stay at the facility until 2037 but the council later delayed a vote on the renovation amid suggestions that the franchise may move to Las Vegas or Seattle.

The situation has now been resolved after the council yesterday (Wednesday) approved the renovation project. Talking Stick Resort Arena is one of the oldest facilities in the NBA having opened in 1992, and Suns president chief executive Jason Rowley is now keen to modernise the venue.

“Together, we will bring the 27-year-old facility into the 21st century with infrastructure, technology and creature comfort innovations that will elevate every level of the arena and enhance the fan experience for all guests that attend games, concerts and events in this building,” he said.

“When renovations are completed in 2021, the city, state and the entire community will celebrate Talking Stick Resort Arena as a premiere sports and entertainment venue and something that can be enjoyed by local residents and the millions of visitors that frequent the Valley annually. A new building will also mean additional exposure and incremental value for great business partners like yourself.”

The vote on the decision to renovate the city-owned arena passed by a margin of 6-2. The Associated Press news agency reported that the city will contribute $150m towards the project, with the Suns to cover the remaining $80m. The new lease deal includes an option to extend the Suns’ stay at the arena until 2042.

Image: Crblack1998