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“My sense is they’ll reach an agreement in Phoenix, just as we’ve managed to do in our other cities,” he said. “… Phoenix has been a fantastic NBA city over the years. I can’t imagine that that team would end up leaving that market.”
Last week, a Phoenix council member told Laurie Roberts of the Arizona Republic that Suns owner Robert Sarver mentioned the possibility of moving the Suns amid discussions about whether the city would provide $150 million to help upgrade Talking Stick Resort Arena.
The team proceeded to post a message from Sarver on Twitter affirming his commitment to the city:
“Robert made news and then unmade the news,” Silver told Beck. “And subsequently, he and others in his organization made absolutely clear that their 100 percent intention is to stay in Phoenix.”
The commissioner said, “It would be a failure on my part if a team ended up moving out of a market,” but he noted it’s clear the Suns’ home arena needs improvements.
“I will say in Phoenix—in the case of their arena—it’s the oldest arena now in the NBA that hasn’t been either completely rebuilt or renovated,” Silver said on The Full 48. “So there’s no question the arena needs a substantial investment.”
He added: “This is very different than the stadium business. For an arena in a major metropolitan city—Phoenix is in that category—arenas are modern-day town halls. They’re community centers. And the NBA is a fraction of the overall dates.”
Silver concluded it’s always worth considering public/private partnerships for arenas because he doesn’t feel an NBA team should have to handle the full cost since there are only about 50 home games during a season, counting a potential playoff appearance.