A new poll, commissioned by the Greater Phoenix Chamber and conducted by OH Predictive Insights, showed a 53-point shift in favorability for the renovations to Talking Stick Resort Arena. Once the public had complete information on the funding mechanism along with the benefits to downtown Phoenix, our city’s economy, and the community, the poll showed a near 2-to-1 ratio of support (49%) versus opposition (25%).
According to the poll, when educated on the facts of the agreement, 49 percent of residents support the deal whereas only 25 percent oppose. 26 percent had no opinion. In addition, 73 percent believe that a vibrant downtown is important, with Talking Stick Resort Arena as the anchor of that vibrancy. 68 percent of respondents from the City of Phoenix and 74 percent from Downtown Phoenix believe Phoenix is generally headed in the right direction.
“The Greater Phoenix Chamber understands the tremendous value of Talking Stick Resort Arena—from the $182 million in economic impact, to the hundreds of jobs it produces,” said Todd Sanders, president & CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber. “Polling results are clear: when residents of Phoenix understand the facts surrounding the deal and the impact of the stadium, they too support the renovations. Without implementing new taxes, the City and Suns have the opportunity to improve the facility and make downtown Phoenix an even more attractive place to live, work, or visit.”
“Talking Stick Resort Arena is a tremendous asset that enhances not only the vibrancy of downtown Phoenix, but of the entire Valley,” said Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry president and CEO Glenn Hamer. “But just like a home you’ve owned for decades, TSRA is in need of upgrades and repairs. We wouldn’t want the arena to fall into disrepair and put at risk all that it brings to the Valley, from Suns basketball to world-class concerts and events. This deal is a good one for the community and for taxpayers. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry strongly supports it.”
In 1989, the City of Phoenix partnered with the Phoenix Suns to revitalize downtown Phoenix by building a multi-purpose arena owned by the City of Phoenix. The City established a tourism tax to create a Sports Facilities Fund in order to maintain the arena’s ongoing infrastructure needs with no tax on residents of Phoenix. The majority of the tax is paid by those who rent cars and hotel rooms within the City of Phoenix. When given this information, 58 percent of poll respondents supported use of the tourism tax to renovate the arena.
Talking Stick Resort Arena generates tax revenue for citywide services like police and fire, including $12.8 million for the city and $14 million for Maricopa County and the State of Arizona each year. The arena supports over 100 local businesses throughout Arizona and is directly responsible for 1,140 jobs with $82 million in payroll. The direct annual economic impact of the arena is $182 million. Fifty-six percent of respondents were more likely to support the proposed arena renovations once learning the direct economic impact on the City.
The arena has been a downtown anchor for 27 years and is important to the vitality of downtown Phoenix and the region. Without the repairs and renovations, the arena will not be able to host the variety of events which are critical to the livelihood of the city including: the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers, YMCA youth basketball (which plays twice as many games in the arena each year than the Suns), concerts, and numerous other community events.
“Now celebrating their 51st season, the Phoenix Suns – the first professional sports team in Phoenix – consistently delivers the finest in sports, entertainment, community leadership, and economic success for the entire metro region, said Kim Sabow, president & CEO, Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association. “The Suns also manage the Arena which generates $335 million of annual direct, indirect, and induced impact for the city of Phoenix, Maricopa County and the State of Arizona. From hometown pride to a vital part of our travel and tourism ecosystem, the Phoenix Suns are critical to the vitality of our community supporting 100 local businesses, 1,140 jobs, and attracting countless visitors to experience Arizona.”
“The Arizona Technology Council supports the proposed renovation deal that would keep the Suns in Phoenix through 2037. It’s imperative to evoke the positive economic impact that having the Suns downtown has had on Phoenix. The Suns are an important part of Phoenix’s cultural and civic identity and keeping them at Talking Stick Resort Arena will help maintain the economic viability of the region,” said Steven Zylstra, president & CEO, Arizona Technology Council.