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Why Phoenix leaders fully support bid for WNBA, NBA All-Star games

Published: Thursday, June 1, 2023 - 1:13pm

A Phoenix council member opposed to using tax dollars on stadiums is now supporting a bid to host major sporting events.

Councilman Jim Waring doesn’t think Phoenix should be in the business of building or subsidizing stadiums and arenas, “But once you go down that crazy path, like the council did a few years ago, you have to maximize the use of the facility.”  

In 2019, the council approved spending $150 million on initial infrastructure improvements at the city-owned facility where the Phoenix Suns and Mercury play basketball. The deal was designed to keep the teams playing downtown through 2037.

On Wednesday, the council unanimously approved a resolution requested by the Suns’ and Mercury. It authorizes the city’s participation in the teams’ bid to host the women's NBA All-Star game in 2024, along with the men’s NBA All-Star game in 2025 or 2026.

“I definitely think we should bid on every one of these we could get because the cost of doing that is minimus compared to what the stadium cost,” Waring said.

“We have become known as Championship Valley because we have the know how and ability to execute the best major marquis sporting and mega events,” said Mayor Kate Gallego. 

If Phoenix is chosen, games and fan events will be held downtown. 

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