Sleeping is overrated.

At least if you’re Maricopa Mayor Christian Price, who also serves as president of the Arizona League of Cities & Towns.

“With more than 53,000 residents, the City of Maricopa is the second most populous incorporated city in Pinal County, and growing by leaps and bounds, “ says Price. “In fact, it’s the 18th most populous city in Arizona.”

Maricopa, like many cities across the country, is in an era of unprecedented opportunity. They are seeing aggressive home construction and increasing home values. Large national retailers are finding a welcoming community as they open new locations in Maricopa. And, according to Price, the city continues to expand its treasured quality of life offerings, strengthening its K-12 education and creating strong alliances with Central Arizona College and local employers.

“Top among our goals is to earn the designation of Smart City,” says Price, explaining a Smart City brings together technology with government, including economic development and planning, to create a city that is not only attractive for residents and visitors, but to businesses looking for a great place to locate, offering a better place to work for its employees.

Price believes strongly in collaboration and therefore is committed to being an active participant with Maricopa Economic Development Alliance (MEDA). MEDA, which was established in 2009, is the City of Maricopa’s private-public partnership for economic development.

“MEDA champions strategies and solutions that foster economic growth and prosperity in the City of Maricopa,” says Price.

Beyond that, Price spends significant time through the Arizona League of Cities and Towns representing the interests of cities and towns before the legislature, and secondarily by providing technical and legal assistance, coordinating shared services and producing high-quality conference and educational events. He is also a partner of the Sierra West Group, a Registered Investment Advisory firm, and an involved father and husband.

“Anyone who has ever heard me speak likely knows my passion for the above endeavors. But, not everyone knows

my passion for striking, acing and racing,” says Price, alluding to his favorite pastimes playing soccer, volleyball and running.

For Price, soccer came first and will always hold a special place in his heart.

“I started playing at 5. Growing up in Tucson, it was a year-round sport,” says Price, who played nearly every position, but excelled as a left wing striker, forward and middle fielder.

However, in high school, Price hit some growing pains, quite literally.

“I ended up with Osgood-Schlatter, a common condition in teens where rapid development causes pulling of the tendons on the growth plate of the knee in adolescents,” says Price. “Doctors suggested I get into a sport with lots of jumping to help alleviate the pain.”

As a result, Price tried out for and made the high school volleyball team. A natural, once in college he also made the NAU volleyball team, helping earn them a trip to the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association national championships in 1999.

“After college, I moved to the Valley and got back into soccer in a big way. Today, I still play in a men’s league every Monday in Maricopa,” says Price. “I continued competing in volleyball for years as well, and still play when I can, though I am the first to admit I don’t jump as high as I used to.”

Beyond that, Price wakes up as early as 4:30 a.m. to ensure he makes time to run regularly.

“In addition to it helping my endurance playing sports, I also dabbled in more competitive running in recent years,” says Price.

Most notably, over the past five years the City of Maricopa has hosted a mud run. Not only has Price competed in it annually, but he has hosted a competition where anyone who beats his time gets a custom medal from him.

“I’ve given out a medal or two (okay, more), but it’s all in good fun. Maybe I should start challenging our residents to volleyball or soccer next,” jokes Price.