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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver chimes in on the Suns’ arena situation

Silver sided with the Suns as they look to renovate one of the league’s oldest arenas, but also admits it would be a failure under his watch to move any team.

NBA: NBA Draft Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver appeared on Bleacher Report’s Full 48 Podcast with Howard Beck earlier this week, and one of the topics brought to his attention was the ongoing situation in Phoenix.

He agreed with Suns’ majority partner Robert Sarver that Talking Stick Resort Arena needs a renovation. However, he stopped short of saying there was any chance this franchise was moving anytime soon.

Silver is committed, like Sarver, to keep the Suns in downtown Phoenix for the long haul.

“I’ve made clear as well, as commissioner, it’d be a failure on my part if a team ended up moving out of a market,” Silver said. “I will say, in Phoenix, it’s the oldest arena now in the NBA that hasn’t been either completely rebuilt or renovated. There’s no question the arena needs a substantial investment.”

Before the vote was pushed back to January, it was looking like the Suns’ arena renovation deal wasn’t going to be passed by Phoenix’s City Council. For it to be accepted, five of the eight City Council members will have to approve.

As currently proposed, the $230 million renovation, the Suns would pay $80 million while the city’s tourism tax revenue would cover the final $150 million. The Suns would also take money out of their own pocket to build an entirely new practice facility somewhere within downtown Phoenix, preferably near their longstanding arena.

It’s been noted that Phoenix has one of the worst practice facilities around the league. Currently, all they have is one practice court located within the arena that has been standing with no additional detailing since its inception. Compared to other franchises, Phoenix is lightyears behind from a facilities point of view.

Outside of the 45-50 Suns-related events going on at Talking Stick Resort Arena, they hold plenty of concerts and others events throughout the year. As Silver noted, it gets lost in translation by most that arenas serve as pillars to community get-togethers.

“I’ll add in the case of the NBA — I think this gets lost sometimes in the public commentary — this is very different than the stadium business,” Silver said. “For an arena in a major metropolitan city — Phoenix is in that category — arenas are modern-day town halls, they’re community centers. The NBA is a fraction of the overall dates. Even a playoff team plus a few presseason games, you’re looking at 50 or so dates.”

As previously reported earlier this month, per a source familiar to the Suns’ plans with their arena situation, Phoenix would consider moving north to Scottsdale rather than out of state altogether if it ever reached that point. One location that has been brought up is near Talking Stick Resort casino in downtown Scottsdale.

Before the vote on January 23, there will be two public meetings with more details about the renovation plans. If it were accepted next month, it would extend the Suns’ lease at Talking Stick Resort Arena through 2032, with the possibility of stretching out past 2040.

“First and foremost, the Suns are not leaving Phoenix,” Sarver said in a video released on the Suns’ Twitter account earlier this month. “I’m 100 percent committed, and have been for the last four years to find a solution to keep them in downtown Phoenix where they belong.”

Stay tuned to Bright Side Of The Sun as we’ll keep you updated on this situation over the next month until the votes are submitted.

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