PHOENIX – (Wire Service Report) – The contentious battle to get Talking Stick Resort Arena renovated has led to Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver dipping into the leverage file and issuing a few threats.
In short, Sarver is telling Phoenix City Council members he will move the team to Seattle or Las Vegas if the renovation of the facility isn’t approved, according to the Arizona Republic. The Suns committed to a 40-year lease in 1992, but they can opt out in 2022.The city council was slated to vote on a $230 renovation package Wednesday, but serious backlash from the community is leading to the vote being pushed back — likely to Jan. 23.
Mayor Thelda Williams would like to host two community meetings to gain feedback before the council makes a decision. The Suns have attempted to get the city council to consider a renovation in the past, but this is the first time the council has seriously considered a proposal.
Phoenix would pay $150 million toward the renovations and the Suns would pay $80 million. The Suns would build a new practice facility and commit to playing at the downtown arena through 2037 with an option to extend through 2042. The Suns would be fined $200 million if they departed Phoenix before 2037.
Phoenix’s on-court performance hasn’t gone well. The Suns own the NBA’s worst record at 4-24 and have lost 10 straight games. Phoenix missed the playoffs in each of the past eight seasons.
–Field Level Media