City owned Talking Stick Resort Arena gets tenant (Phx Suns) to pay for part of renovation… other part paid with money from TOURISTS (existing tax on hotel rooms and rental cars)

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(Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents the Phoenix Suns)

By Jessica Boehm | Arizona Republic

The Phoenix City Council is in quite the pickle.

The city owns Talking Stick Resort Arena, where the Phoenix Suns play, and the National Basketball Association team wants an upgrade.

The Suns signed a 40-year lease with the city in 1992, but a clause in the contract allows the team to leave as early as 2022 if the arena is considered “obsolete.”

In hopes of keeping the Suns here, city staff worked out a deal with the team that would have the city pay $150 million and the team pay $80 million for a major arena face-lift.

The council was supposed to vote on the deal in mid-December, but members got spooked by public backlash and delayed the decision until Jan. 23. In the interim, the city will host five public meetings to explain the deal and get input.

Now the City Council has some tough decisions to make.