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Phoenix City Council to vote on $230M deal that would keep Suns downtown

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PHOENIX — The Phoenix City Council will vote Wednesday on a $230 million renovation deal that would keep the Phoenix Suns downtown.

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.

Renovations would include the replacement of mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructures.

The new agreement would extend the contract through 2037, with the option to add on five years.

The Suns would be expected to build and pay for an off-site practice facility,  which would allow more space in the arena.

The deal estimates that the Suns would pay the city $60 million in fees and rent over the newly negotiated term.

The current operating agreement between the city and the Suns could end as soon as 2022.

In 2016, the city explored the idea of bringing the Arizona Coyotes hockey team downtown and having the two teams share a new arena, an idea that then-Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton supported but ultimately fell through.

Last November, the city and the Suns broke off talks about a $450 million renovation deal.

Former Councilwoman Kate Gallego, who will face Daniel Valenzuela in a run-off election for Phoenix mayor next year, has said she opposes public investment in an arena.

Valenzuela has also said he does not support tax money being used for sports venues.

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