You haven’t heard much about this deal because it’s being hammered out behind closed doors.
Oh, thanks, KPNX-TV! And thanks also for reporting on this, even though there’s nobody making press statements about it, which I know is the main way journalism happens these days. So what’s the scoop?
A source familiar with the project says a proposed overhaul of the 25-year-old city-owned arena could cost close to a half-billion dollars, with taxpayers picking up more than half the bill.
Oho, so we have someone making not-for-attribution press statements about this! Also, “more than $250 million in taxpayer money” is a hell of a lot, especially for just a damn renovation to an existing arena.
Both of the leading candidates in next year’s Phoenix mayoral election seem to agree, with Kate Gallego issuing a statement that “it is not in Phoenix’s best interest to invest in an arena,” while her opponent Daniel Valenzuela chimed in, “For too long, taxpayers have been expected to foot the bill for sports venues. This practice must stop now.”
Of course, neither of these statements is a guarantee that as mayor they wouldn’t support any kind of arena subsidies — or, for that matter, that current mayor Greg Stanton couldn’t sign off on a deal before he leaves office a year and change from now. But “things aren’t going any better for Suns owner Robert Sarver’s arena subsidy demands at the city level than they did in the state legislature” is probably a pretty fair takeaway, at least until the city council finishes meeting behind closed doors and we can get a public statement of some kind.