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Phoenix Suns Amenities: New Seats, More Bars, Private Entrance

The Phoenix Suns recently unveiled its plans for the renovation of Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix.

Phoenix will cover the bulk of the estimated $235 million renovation on the city-owned facility through an existing tax on hotel rooms and rental cars. Phoenix will pay for new mechanical, electrical, plumbing and communication systems for the city-owned arena while the team will spend about $80 million on fan amenities.

During a Nov. 21, 2019, event at the Phoenix Convention Center, team owner Robert Sarver revealed renderings and shared details. Sarver said the redesigned Arizona Casino Pavilion will feature 85,000 square feet of LED screens and a 60-foot bar with direct views into the seating bowl.

“In addition, we’re moving the pre-game, halftime, and post-game show into the pavilion so this place will be activated, it will be alive, it will have energy,” he said.

All 17,000 seats will be replaced with cushioned seats and a new scoreboard will be six times bigger than the current one. Sarver said they will change to theater lighting which creates a dramatic effect as the court stays bright and the area around it remains dark.

Two new corner bars will be added inside the seating bowl area on the main concourse and the upper level will have a family friendly food court while new clubs and suites will offer upscale dining and drinks. Throughout the arena, there will be different seating and standing options.

“One of the things people are more interested in is being able to socialize with each other, not just necessarily sit in one seat for the entire game,” Sarver said. “So, having the ability to be able to move around and enjoy different food and entertainment venues and get more connectivity with other people in the arena is a real key.”

The most exclusive amenities include three floor suites that will be located adjacent to the main court where players enter and exit to the game.

“They’ll have a full-time bartender/butler to serve your needs, and they will come with 16 tickets that will be in rows one through six,” Sarver said. “It’s a new product and I think there’ll be a fair amount of people interested in them.”

A two-story club named “1968” in honor of the Suns inaugural season will include a private entrance into the arena and exclusive courtside access.

James Jones, Suns general manager, said the renovation is making the players "giddy." “They’re excited about coming to the arena, they’re excited about this project because it gives them an opportunity to have a new home.”

Talking Stick Resort Arena is 27 years old. About 60% of renovations should be done by the end of next year. The team has dubbed the remodel “ Project 201” to reflect the arena’s address at 201 E. Jefferson St.

City-Suns Deal Highlights 

  • The city will contribute $150 million upfront.
  • The Suns will pay $80 million upfront and any construction overruns.
  • The Suns will continue to share profits and pay the city rent, which is estimated to be $60 million in rent and profit share to the city over the 15-year term.
  • The city will contribute $2 million annually and the Suns $1 million annually to a renewal and replacement account for infrastructure needs.
  • The Suns will build a practice facility in Phoenix estimated at $25–$50 million.

Here’s a breakdown of the arena preliminary cost estimates:

$14.81 million for Seating Bowl
$13.17 million for Event Level
$9.80 million for Main Concourse
$7.21 million for Lower Suite Level A
$4.21 million for Upper Suite Level B
$4.88 million for Upper Concourse
$5.01 million for Roof and Structural Upgrades-Rigging System
$17.63 million for Exterior Wall and Building Envelope
$18.65 million for Technology and Security
$1.91 million for Signage and Graphics
$26.37 million for Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment, Artwork, Food Service
$11.67 million for Vertical Circulation (elevators and escalators)
$99.58 million for Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Communication Systems
$234.90 = Preliminary Total Renovation Cost Estimate

News Business
As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.