Popular Tempe restaurant shuts down; makes way for basketball

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

TEMPE, Ariz. -- A landmark Tempe restaurant is closing its doors for good.

After 25 years in business there, the Chili's restaurant at University and Mill Avenue is closing to make room for USA Basketball.

The closure will allow the USA Basketball team to settle in a new home in that location, called USA Place. The state-of-the-art basketball facility will have five full courts, two half-courts and a 4,500-seat event center.

The project will cost an estimated $350 million. And the basketball facility will host tryouts and training for top U.S. teams.

In addition to the basketball facility, the new USA Place complex will feature a luxury hotel, a conference center, apartments, and office and retail space. It is expected to bring an estimated 300,000 people to Tempe every year.

Crews are expected to break ground on USA Basketball’s headquarters in 2014. The facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

Chili's will close on Jan. 8, the last day of its lease. But there are still 24 Chili's locations across the Valley.