City of Phoenix set to decide whether to sell Sheraton to fund Suns arena face lift

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Suns owner addresses the team's arena situation. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Suns owner addresses the team's arena situation. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Suns owner Robert Sarver throws and alley oop to Derrick Jones Jr. on Neighborhood Missions new court. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Suns owner Robert Sarver throws and alley oop to Derrick Jones Jr. on Neighborhood Missions new court. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Suns tipped off their 50th season in the desert with a bold community initiative. Suns owner Robert Sarver pledged $1 million to refurbish basketball courts all over Arizona, starting with the court at Neighborhood Ministries in Phoenix.

[RELATED: Phoenix councilman: Hotel sale being done to keep Suns happy]

“We’re celebrating our history,” said Sarver, moments after throwing an alley-oop pass to Derrick Jones Jr. “And part of our history has been the tradition of giving back to the community, being part of the community. No better way than to take 50 courts and rebuild them, redo them around the state in honor of our anniversary.”

Next up for Sarver and the Suns is another bold community initiative. The Suns are seeking a face lift for Talking Stick Resort Arena. The City is set to decide whether to sell the Sheraton Hotel to fund the face lift. The City built the hotel in 2004 and still owes $306 million on it. 

[RELATED: Suns owner on arena: 'Refurbishing this one is option 1A for me']

The City confirmed this week that the Sheraton made a net profit of $14 million over the past two years. The proposed deal to sell the Sheraton is for $255 million. The City estimates an $87 million loss if the hotel should sell. The Suns can get out of their Talking Stick Resort Arena lease in 2022. 

“Listen, we love downtown Phoenix. Hopefully, at some point they’ll feel the need to want to move forward with us and try to do something,” said Sarver. “We are a big part of the downtown community and we’d like to stay there and if the City believes that it’s in the best interests of its taxpayers and constituents, that will happen. If it doesn’t then it won’t.”

[RELATED: Deal to sell city-owned Sheraton Hotel may be fizzling]

The City is set to make a decision about the deal to sell the hotel on Tuesday in an executive session. Not everyone on the City Council is in favor of the deal to sell the hotel.

“The Suns have been a great corporate partner,” said Jim Waring, who represents District 2 on the Phoenix City Council. “I think the City should hold out for a better deal, show a little backbone and try to get something better than what’s been presented because the taxpayers are really the ones losing out here and that’s unacceptable to me.”

The deal to sell the hotel and fund the arena face lift are two different deals, with the funds collected from the hotel being used for the arena face lift. The City credits the hotel and the Phoenix Convention Center as big reasons why the city of Phoenix hosted the 2015 Super Bowl, 2016 College Football Playoff events and the 2017 NCAA Final Four events.

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