Spending Big To Be Big League In Phoenix

The owners want more public dollars.

In the enough is never enough department, Phoenix area residents may be asked to dig down deeper to pay for new sports facilities as the perpetual cycle of owners demanding new facilities and politicians listening to their pleas continues. Here is the latest scoreboard update. The Arizona Diamondbacks ownership group continues to squabble with Phoenix officials over maintenance costs at the Diamondbacks stadium and whether the facility is capable of hosting a Major League Baseball team. The fight could be more about Diamondbacks owners positioning themselves into a negotiating stance for a new stadium in Phoenix or somewhere in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Speaking of the Phoenix metropolitan area, the Milwaukee Brewers ownership is seemingly looking to set up a battle between Maryvale, the home of the Brewers spring training facility, and Gilbert, a town without a baseball team to call its own for about seven weeks of the calendar year known as spring training. There is a proposal from Gilbert that includes a ballpark, a hotel, office space and retail that would cost around $90 million with $20 million coming from the team. Brewers officials continue to negotiate with Maryvale representatives.

Then there is the arena situation. The owner of the NHL’s Arizona franchise wants out of Glendale, the owner of the NBA’s Suns wants a new place to call his own eventually but without an NHL partner. Phoenix has a badly designed downtown arena because local politicians in the late 1980s decided to build an arena perfectly suited for basketball and little else. Could Phoenix politicians tell Suns owner Robert Sarver, listen you want a new place, will be a multi-purpose facility and if you don’t like it, too bad. Politicians often fold when faced with a sports owner threatening to move. Phoenix area residents have paid more than a billion dollars for the privilege of being big league


If there is a new arena in Phoenix, Suns owner Robert Sarver does not want to share it with an NHL team, even though the public would pay for a chunk of the building.