Deal reached to keep Suns in Phoenix for decades

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- Thursday brought some major developments involving the Phoenix Suns and their future in Downtown Phoenix.

Late Thursday evening, the Phoenix City Council unveiled a multimillion dollar plan to renovate the existing Talking Stick Resort arena, and keep the Suns in Phoenix for at least the next 23 years. Talking Stick Resort Arena was built in the early 1990's, and is in need of an overhaul. Under the deal, the city will pay for infrastructure repairs, while the team will upgrade amenities inside.

Taxpayers will pay $150 million to help pay for the renovations, with much of that money would come from a tourism tax on car rentals and hotel rooms. The Suns, meanwhile, would chip in about 80-million. Meanwhile, the Suns will pay to build a new practice facility somewhere in the Valley.

The deal will also keep the Suns in Downtown, until at least the 2037 season, with an option to keep them in Phoenix until 2042. If the team choose to break the agreement and leave early, they would have to pay the city $200 million.

This new deal still has to be approved by the City Council, and a vote is slated for next Wednesday. If both sides can't reach a deal, the Suns' current agreement allows them to leave Downtown Phoenix after the 2022 season.

As news of the agreement spread, reaction from fans are split, with some say the city can't lose the team.

"Oh no," said Edwin Robinson II. "Phoenix, Arizona all day. Rep my Suns. We can't go nowhere. We're not leaving nowhere."

Other fans, however, say they would like to see the team win some games first.

"The win, yes, if they're gonna renovate the stadium," said one fan, identified only as "Robert". "I mean, definitely. We need a winner."

At least one person said he would like to see the money spent elsewhere.

"I do care, but I'd rather have a new Chase Field, honestly," said John Dragon. "I've been waiting for a new baseball field at this point. I mean, the stadium there is kinda bad."