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Phoenix City Council expected to vote on Talking Stick Arena renovations Wednesday

Talking Stick Resort Arena - Getty Images
Posted at 5:58 PM, Jan 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-23 06:23:07-05

PHOENIX — With a losing season assured and a playoff drought that will extend into an unthinkable ninth year, the Phoenix Suns are hoping their luck will begin to change Wednesday afternoon.

But like anything with the Suns these days, good luck won't come easy.

The Phoenix City Council is expected to vote on whether it will spend $150 million of the $234 million it's expected to cost for the renovations of Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Suns will finance the other $80 million. Go here for a breakdown of estimated costs.

District 8 City Council woman Felicita Mendoza and District 7 City Councilman Michael Nowakowski publicly remain undecided on the renovation deal. On her way to an executive session briefing Friday on the area deal, Mendoza would not give any indication of how she will vote. Arriving at the same meeting, District 5 councilwoman Vania Guevara, who opposes spending the money, suggested she may reconsider.

"I'm still listening and learning," Guevara said.

When asked if she was open to changing her vote, she replied, "I'm still learning, thank you."

The Suns and the City of Phoenix have been negotiating a renovation deal for three years. But in recent months, the dynamics have changed. Nowakowski, whose district includes Talking Stick Resort Arena, is the subject of a recall election. Council woman Guevara is running for the seat she was appointed to when she replaced Daniel Valenzuela in August.

"I'm just hopeful they're able to work thru the process and come to a resolution that makes sense to everybody," Suns President and C.E.O. Jason Rowley said. Rowley thinks in the end there will be the five votes needed to approve the renovation deal. But he knows right now, that is not a guarantee. So, the Suns, like the rest of us, will have to wait until the Council's vote to know for sure.

The meeting starts Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., according to the Phoenix City Council agenda.