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Details of Suns arena improvements plan revealed

When Robert Sarver wins, the taxpayers win.

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Orlando Magic v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

We have some details of the plan for improvements to Talking Stick Resort Arena, home of our Suns who have won a combined 87 games across the last four seasons. Unfamiliar with this blessing bestowed upon the taxpayers? Here’s a refresher:

  • Dec. 12, 2018 - Phoenix City Council has vote scheduled to determine if $230 million in spending for upgrades to TSRA will be approved. Vote is pushed back amid concerns regarding cost and sources of funding.
  • Jan. 23, 2019 - Suns owner Robert Sarver gets the final vote he needs, from councilwoman Vania Guevara to obtain funding for renovations.
  • Feb. 1, 2019 - Sarver send Guevara nearly $3 million.

Now you’re caught up. The efficiency is inspiring.

So here’s the deal:

  • City of Phoenix pays $150 million for arena renovations.
  • Team will pay $80 million for renovations and any cost overruns.
  • After the renovation is complete, the city will pay $2 million annually for 12 ½ towards a new renewal and replacement fund that will go to future renovation needs.
  • Suns pay $1 million into the new fund for 12 ½ years.
  • Suns will operate and maintain the building, this includes booking concerts and other events.
  • Suns pay rent to the city (calculated as a percentage of annual proceeds).
  • Suns build a new practice facility (estimated to cost $25 million to $50 million) in Phoenix.
  • Suns will be downtown through 2037. They’ll then have an option to extend the lease to 2042. Should the team leaves before 2037, it will face up to a $200 million fine.

Lucky locals. Your tax dollars get to go to something really special. So here’s what we learned this week about the upgrades:

  • Okland will be the construction manager at risk for the project. They recently worked on the $125 million renovation to Vivint Smart Home Arena, home of the Utah Jazz.
  • HOK will also be working on TSRA. Their last project was the $183 million upgrade to the Atlanta Hawks’ State Farm Arena.
  • About $15 million will go towards ADA upgrades and entrances to the seating bowl.
  • Another $15 million will be used to expand the upper and lower concourses.
  • $19 million is earmarked for security and technology improvements.
  • The cost of upgrading mechanical, electrical, plumbing and communication systems will run about $100 million.

Chill out, Suns fans. Philly is going through the same thing and it’s costing their taxpayers a bundle. Oh, I’m sorry, I mean it’s costing them nothing.

No guarantees this makes the product on the floor any better, but perhaps it will increase your enjoyment of, oh I don’t know, a Chainsmokers concert.

Renovations are planned to be completed by 2022.

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