The Phoenix City Council approved with 6-2 votes public funds for the renovation of the Arena of the Suns and a lease that will keep them in the city until 2037. The negotiations on the arena deal were short and dodgy, causing the suns to get one of the most comfortable deals of late. And because it's Phoenix, the last hearing also featured a bizarre performance and a speech by a man who had shot a councilor over a previous stadium deal.
We will do it. First, the details of the Financing Agreement, which was released in December, less than a week before the scheduled vote, before public pressure forced it to be pushed back for a month. The city of Phoenix will pay $ 150 million for the refurbishment of the arena, while the suns will pay $ 80 million and cost overruns. The city will also contribute another $ 25 million to a future maintenance fund. The suns will contribute $ 12.5 million.
Phoenix bears 65 percent of the renovation costs, which, according to Arizona (19459026), is the second highest share of the taxpayer's 14 arena deals earned in the last five years around the nation. It is also one of the shortest deals in the country and extends the team's lease for another 15 years.
The city of Pheonix still pays the debts for a loan that it had to raise to finance the initial costs of constructing the property, which opened in 1992.
While surveys show that two-thirds of Phoenix residents disagreed with the rehabilitation contract, most people who spoke before the vote were in favor. One exception was 90-year-old Greta Rogers, who dunked sun owner Robert Sarver at a previous hearing. Rogers laughed again at the idea that a 30-year-old building needs to be modernized. "I'm three times my age and my setup is going pretty well," said Rogers.
Former councilwoman Mary Rose Wilcox, former councilor and Maricopa County supervisor, once spoke out in favor of the arena. A few minutes later, an older man at the microphone was put on the line. He announced, "On August 13, 1997, I went to the Auditorium of the Maricopa Board of Supervisors and shot Mary Rose Wilcox at the ballpark control case." It was an intense moment:
In fact, Larry Naman shot Wilcox in 1997 for her support of a rudder to fund the Diamondbacks Stadium. He was convicted of attempted murder and served 12 years after serving a 15-year sentence before being released in 2010. He told reporters yesterday that he is no longer on probation and has no gun, but also that he did not regret it 22 years ago. In his speech to the city council, Naman called the financing of the Suns renovation "an act of violence against the public."