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

Katie Hobbs speaks to supporters at a campaign rally on Nov. 6, 2022, in Tucson. (Photo by John Moo...

Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s other winners to be inaugurated Jan. 5

Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs will become Arizona's first Democratic governor in 14 years when she is inaugurated in a Jan. 5 ceremony.
13 hours ago
(Arizona Humane Society Photo)...

5 metro Phoenix animal shelters participating in 10-day reduced fee adoption event

Five metro Phoenix animal shelters are taking part in Bissell Pet Foundation's 10-day reduced fee adoption event.
13 hours ago
Montel Alexander (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...

Man accused of killing ex-girlfriend in Phoenix after threatening her family

A suspected Phoenix gang member is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend after threatening her family and kidnapping a friend while trying to find her.
13 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Senator Mark Kelly)...

Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly wants answers on how DHS will handle end of Title 42

U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly said he's expecting to hear back from Homeland Security soon addressing continuing issues about the impending termination of Title 42 border-crossing restrictions.
13 hours ago
Activists in this file photo rally outside the Arizona Capitol in June, 2022, after the U.S. Suprem...
Haley Smilow | Cronkite News

Judges grill both sides in hearing about Arizona abortion laws

Arizona Court of Appeals judges quizzed attorneys Wednesday as they tried to figure out how, or if, they can square competing abortion laws.
13 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Arizona State University Police Department)...

Suspect in custody after shots fired on ASU campus in Tempe

One person is in custody after shots were fired on the grounds of Arizona State University in Tempe early Thursday, campus police said.
13 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.
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
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.
Phoenix mayoral candidate Kate Gallego wants Suns to pay for arena