A $230MM renovation deal for Talking Stick Resort Arena was approved by Phoenix City Council this week, with the city committing to $150MM of that figure, while the Suns will contribute $80MM. However, as Abe Kwok of The Arizona Republic details, a number of Phoenix residents aren’t thrilled about that decision, and have launched an effort to force a referendum that would allow the public to vote on the issue.
“This seems like a situation where the voters of Phoenix very well may want to weigh in,” said Drew Chavez of Petition Partners, a Phoenix group that runs many initiative petitions in Arizona. “If we can give them a chance to do so, it would be a public service. We’re talking about millions of dollars that could be spent on public safety or repairing our streets instead of fixing up the arena for the Suns and their billionaire owner.”
The issue of public funding for the Suns’ arena funding has been a contentious one, with backers of the deal arguing that the building is used for more than just basketball, while opponents have made the case that Suns owner Robert Sarver should put up the money for the renovations himself. According to Kwok, the group seeking a referendum on the issue would have 30 days to secure approximately 13,700 petition signatures to qualify for a public vote.
Here’s more from around the Pacific:
- Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee takes a look at the Kings‘ options for the trade deadline, citing league sources who say that the club’s discussions with the Knicks about Enes Kanter “quickly broke down.” Based on various reports on those talks, it sounds like Sacramento wanted to include at least one more expiring contract and New York was unwilling to take another deal without an extra asset.
- While the Lakers would love to acquire a second superstar that makes them a threat in 2018/19 and beyond, they’re more likely to make a smaller-scale move at the deadline, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic, who writes that the club is eyeing shooters on expiring contracts. Wayne Ellington, Terrence Ross, Garrett Temple, and Trevor Ariza are among the players Oram identifies as possible targets.
- The Lakers have let a number of players walk in free agency or traded them away since Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka assumed control of the front office in 2017. Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report revisits those decisions, arguing that the team likely gave up too early on Thomas Bryant and D’Angelo Russell, and probably should’ve made more of an effort to re-sign Julius Randle and Brook Lopez last summer.
- How did Warriors teammates Kevin Durant and Draymond Green mend fences after a very public altercation earlier this season? Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic takes a deep dive into the situation and explores the relationship between the two All-Stars.