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Phoenix lawmakers vote to keep Milwaukee Brewers in Maryvale

Milwaukee Brewers' Brett Phillips, right, is congratulated by teammate Jonathan Villar after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

PHOENIX — The Milwaukee Brewers will continue to call Phoenix its second home.

The Phoenix City Council approved a multi-million dollar deal on Wednesday that will keep the club at Maryvale Baseball Park for spring training for 25 years.

Under the deal, the Brewers will invest up to $63 million in renovations, while the city will contribute $2 million per year for five years to renovate the park.

Renovations at the park are set to include more shaded areas, wider concourses, new concession areas, remodeled restrooms and a new play area for children.

City leaders voted 6-2 to approve the deal, with Councilwoman Kate Gallego and Councilman Jim Waring voted no.

Both lawmakers said they did not agree with the deal. Waring said the deal was a good one but argued that cities shouldn’t be involved in the sports business.

The team had talked with officials from Gilbert during the summer about possibly moving there, but Mayor Jenn Daniels opposed spending public funds to build a stadium.

The Brewers have been in the Maryvale neighborhood since 1998, after moving from Chandler. The land near 51st Avenue and Indian School Road had been donated by longtime area businessman John Long.

Council votes to sue drug companies for opioid epidemic

The council also voted unanimously during their Wednesday meeting to take legal action against pharmaceutical companies for allegedly fueling the opioid epidemic with “fraudulent marketing.”

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said the lies these drug companies have pushed have destroyed lives and that families and taxpayers have paid the biggest price.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Service, the rate of opioid-related deaths have nearly doubled in the last year.

In 2016, 790 Arizonans died from opioid overdoses, while between June and November of this year, that number has reached 538.

Gov. Doug Ducey declared an opioid epidemic in the state earlier this year. Since then, the state attorney general has sued a local drugmaker for allegedly paying doctors to prescribe powerful opioids to patients.

John Kapoor, the founder and former CEO of the Chandler-based Insys Therapeutics, was arrested in October for his role in the nationwide opioid scam.

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