Talking Stick Resort Arena might fall silent on NBA nights if local officials don’t pay up.
Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver has threatened to move the team to Seattle, Wash., or Las Vegas, Nev., if the Arizona city doesn’t approve $150 million worth of renovations to their current home venue, according to The Arizona Republic’s Laurie Roberts. The Phoenix City Council postponed a vote on the arena deal Wednesday, reportedly because it was unpopular in polls and didn’t have the required votes to pass in the council chambers. Sarver reportedly issued his threat following the postponement.
Phoenix Mayor Thelda Williams has asked the council to vote on the arena deal next month, giving the city time to hold two public hearings on the topic. Robert suggests Williams made the request because the Suns would have lost the vote by a wide margin, all but ending hopes for a deal in the future.
The Suns have played in Phoenix since 1968 and at the venue since it opened in 1992. The arena underwent around $67 million in renovations between 2002 and 2003.
We don’t know how the political calculus might change between now and next month’s vote. But signs point to a showdown that might change the complexion of the NBA and possibly bring top-level hoops back to Seattle or to Las Vegas for the first time.
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