Phoenix mayoral candidate Kate Gallego wants Suns to pay for arena

Dec 13, 2018, 4:29 PM | Updated: Dec 14, 2018, 7:47 am
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX – Phoenix mayoral candidate Kate Gallego thinks the Suns, not taxpayers, should foot the bill for major arena upgrades.

“My personal opinion is that sports teams like the Suns are among the most profitable enterprises in America and that they should pay for their own scoreboard, kitchen and seat cushions,” Gallego told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the City Council postponed a vote on a proposed renovation of Talking Stick Resort Arena that would cost the city $150 million. The Suns would put in $80 million as part of the deal.

The Council agreed to hold five public information sessions before voting on the proposal at its Jan. 23 meeting.

“My mind is made up,” Gallego said. I don’t think this is the best use of limited public dollars, but it’s really worthwhile to have that conversation.”

“Transparency is important, so I do want to applaud them (for delaying the vote).”

Gallego said the city has more pressing issues such as public safety and homelessness.

“We have limited resources,” she said. “We can’t do everything at once, and so we should talk to the community about what they value.”

Gallego said she doesn’t mind the city paying for arena maintenance and infrastructure upkeep, but the Suns are asking for features such as a VIP club and renovated locker rooms they should fund themselves.

“This is extensive upgrades where you may not recognize Talking Stick Resort Arena when it’s done,” she said.

Gallego said she wants the Suns to stay in downtown Phoenix but they should seek private financing to upgrade their facility.

“There’s been some great teams win championships in privately financed arenas,” she said.

“The Suns should get the chance to bet on their own product on the court. If they believe they have the right team, they should be able to take all the risk and make all of the profit.”

Gallego was the leader in the November election by more than 70,000 votes, but she fell short of the 50 percent threshold required to win the race.

She will face fellow former council member Daniel Valenzuela in a runoff on March 12.

After the vote was delayed Wednesday, Valenzuela issued a statement approving of the decision, but he didn’t say whether he supported the renovation plan.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook photo/City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department)...
Tom Kuebel

Papago Park in Phoenix introduces ADA-approved fishing dock

The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department introduced a new fishing dock approved by guidelines set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
14 hours ago
(Mesa Fire Photo)...

Helicopter makes emergency landing in Mesa, no one injured

A single-engine light helicopter made an emergency landing in a residential Mesa neighborhood early Saturday morning.
14 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Man found guilty of murder, kidnapping of Tucson girl

A man accused of abducting and killing two young Tucson girls separately and dumping their bodies was convicted Friday of first-degree murder and kidnapping.
14 hours ago
Alta Avondale rendering (City of Avondale photo)...
Tom Kuebel

Construction begins on Alta Avondale residential units at The BLVD

Teams broke ground on a multi-family residential development called Alta Avondale, adding to one of its fastest-growing communities.
14 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...

Phoenix among best US cities for vegans and vegetarians, per WalletHub

Phoenix made the top five on a list of best U.S. cities for vegans and vegetarians, according to a personal finance website.
14 hours ago
(Bell Bank Park Rendering)...

Bell Bank Park sees more than 3M in attendance over first 9 months

Legacy Sports USA announced Thursday more than 3 million visitors have attended Bell Bank Park in its first nine months of operations.
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Phoenix mayoral candidate Kate Gallego wants Suns to pay for arena