Phoenix citizens split on project 201 as construction on the Suns new training facility begins

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The Phoenix Suns and the City of Phoenix agreed to Renovate Talking Stick Resort Arena in January to start Project 201. The renovation starts with the building of a new training facility in Phoenix.

Many Phoenix citizens are torn on the issue of having Talking Stick Resort Arena renovated. Some believe it is not the citizens’ responsibility to pay for it and it should be up to the Suns organization to pay for it. Others feel it is time for a renovation because the arena is one of the oldest in the National Basketball Association.

Planning for Talking Stick Resort Arena began in 1988, and was finished in 1992. At the time, it was a revolutionary arena in the eyes of many and was named the best NBA facility by NBA players, according to talkingstickresortarena.com.

The latest round of renovations to the arena were in 2004. Today, Talking Stick Resort Arena is one of the oldest in the league, and some believe a renovation is overdue.

According to brightsideofthesun.com, the renovations will include expanding the concourses in the upper and lower sections, updating technology and security, as well as plumbing and electrical work. The renovations will cost approximately $230 million. $150 million is being paid by taxpayers and the remaining $80 million will be paid by Phoenix Suns organization.

Of course, the Phoenix Suns are not the only organization who occupies this arena, it is also home to the Women’s National Basketball Association’s Phoenix Mercury and the Indoor Football League’s Arizona Rattlers. The arena is also used for entertainment such as events, concerts, live shows, and watch parties.

“Personally, I think the renovation is not good for the city because it is not a benefit or good use of tax dollars to a team that is all based on how good they will play,” Eric Richardson, a Phoenix resident said.

Some citizens believe the $150 million price tag should go to other needs like the streets of Phoenix. According to azcentral.com, about 70 percent of Phoenix streets are not in good condition.

“I think that the renovation is great for the city, I think it will create a lot of revenue for downtown Phoenix that the city can use for other problems, so I see it as a win-win,” Phoenix resident Skylar Galvan said.

As part of the deal, the Phoenix Suns will have to build a new training facility. The construction for the new training facility officially started already, and is set to be ready for the start of the 2020-2021 NBA season. The facility will be used by the Suns and Mercury.

The Suns currently do not have a training facility. They practice on a court located inside of the arena, but not the main court where they play games. Head coach Monty Williams emphasized the importance of a new training facility not only for the organization, but for the players as well. The practice facility will offer players resources that they currently do not have.

Renovations for Talking Stick Resort Arena are expected to be completed by 2021, in time for the new season.