Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton says replacing the Phoenix Suns‘ 25-year-old arena is a priority for his city, because, um, because:
“I know when people think about arenas, they always think about, ‘Well, that’s for the professional sports teams.’ Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix is used almost 200 nights per year. The vast majority time it’s not for a sporting event — it’s for concerts, it’s for the Harlem Globetrotters when they come to town, it would be for the circus, it would be for ice skating and the skating events…
“You need a cutting-edge, competitive building to host all of sorts of events, including sporting events.”
(By the way, if you want to see just how badly another reporter can misquote a radio interview, compare my transcription above to the terrible one on KTAR News’ site.)
And a new arena would be more “competitive” because what now? Yes, the Suns arena isn’t sized right for hockey (“We won’t make that mistake twice for an arena in downtown Phoenix,” said Stanton), but what could possibly be $500 million in likely construction costs better about a new arena than a not-quite-new one? Especially if the old one is already in use 200 nights a year, so clearly concerts aren’t steering clear of it?
“I’m not just the mayor of the city of Phoenix, I’m a leader in this community. It’s important we don’t lose our major assets to Las Vegas or Canadian cities that would happily snap up the Coyotes or any of our major assets.”
OH MY GOD THE SUNS ARE MOVING TO HALIFAX YOU GUYS!
Stanton did promise “a very intense discussion” and that any arena plan would go before the voters, so clearly he knows this is going to be a long battle, even if he didn’t actually breathe the word “dollars” during his interview. But this is how it begins, not with a bang, but with a torrent of radio word salad.