Stanton's State Of The City: It's Imperative Phoenix Suns Stay Downtown

Published: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 9:37am
Updated: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 9:38am
Lauren Loftus/KJZZ
Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton told a group of business leaders it’s essential that the Suns basketball team stays downtown. During his annual State of the City address Tuesday afternoon, Stanton suggested that a public-private partnership could lead to a new facility that would house not just the Suns, but also the Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Coyotes.

The Coyotes are looking to leave Glendale while the Suns want to replace the arena they’ve called home since 1992. Stanton said building two new professional arenas in the region makes no sense.

He said he’ll do all he can to support a new facility for the Suns, Mercury and Coyotes under two conditions-– first, the venue must bring in new events and new people downtown and second, Stanton said, “I will absolutely not raise taxes for a new arena. Any plan for a new venue must only use the existing sports facilities fund.”

That fund comes from a tax on hotel stays and car rentals Phoenix created in 1989 to help build the Suns arena.

Meanwhile, Stanton did not mention Chase Field despite the Diamondbacks expressing interest in getting out of their deal with the county. But earlier this month, he said the city did not have new resources to bring to the table, though he is open to helping find a solution.