Poll: Most likely voters support Suns arena deal when given ‘the facts’
PHOENIX — A new poll commissioned by the Greater Phoenix Chamber found that almost half of Phoenix likely voters supported the proposed $230 million Phoenix Suns arena renovation deal after they were “educated on the facts of the agreement,” it was announced Wednesday.
Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights surveyed 493 likely voters from Dec. 26-29, with a margin of error of 4.41 percent.
The poll found that when respondents were given basic information about the deal and how the cost would be divided — $150 million paid by the city and $80 million paid by the Suns — 23 percent supported the deal and 52 percent opposed it, while a quarter had no opinion.
When they were given information about the city’s funding mechanism, arena events, the arena’s economic impact and the use of the arena by youth groups, respondents who supported the deal increased to 49 percent and those opposed shrank to a quarter, while 26 percent had no opinion — a 53-point shift.
“For the chamber, we’re obviously very interested in the economic well-being of the downtown area as well as the greater Phoenix region, so we felt like it was really important to understand all the facts related to the arena, as it relates to the voters out there,” Todd Sanders, CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.
“I really hope (the poll) gives the Council an understanding of what their constituents are thinking. … When they have the facts, people really do understand that this is important and understand that there’s not a new tax involved and the impact of that arena is huge.”
A survey of 450 likely voters conducted earlier in December found that about 66 percent of respondents opposed the deal.
This was before the Phoenix City Council agreed on Dec. 12 to delay voting on the deal until five meetings were held to allow for public input.
The deal would revamp the nearly 30-year-old city-owned Talking Stick Resort Arena, the oldest arena in the NBA that is not currently undergoing renovations, between 2019 and 2021.
The city’s Sports Facilities Fund, made up of tourism tax money, would contribute $150 million.
The Suns would pick up $80 million and be responsible for any costs passing the $230 million mark.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup contributed to this report.