Suns owner Robert Sarver addresses the team's arena situation, possible joint venue with Coyotes

Posted at 1:16 PM, Jul 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-19 16:16:07-04

The Arizona Coyotes are looking for a new arena in the Valley. The Phoenix Suns are in the market for a new venue or an upgrade to their current one.

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Last month, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported the NBA's and NHL's commissioners are working together to help facilitate a new joint arena for the Coyotes and Suns, who shared then-America West Arena from 1996-2003. The Suns have played in that building (now called Talking Stick Resort Arena) since 1992, while the Coyotes relocated to Glendale 14 years ago but are looking for a new home following legal disputes with the City of Glendale.

During a press conference Wednesday in which the Suns announced James Jones is the team's new vice president of basketball operations and general manager Ryan McDonough received a contract extension, Suns owner Robert Sarver made it clear: The team needs a new arena or an overhaul to their current one.

"We have no choice but to do one of those two because as you know, our arena’s becoming outdated," he said, noting TSR Arena will soon be the NBA's second-oldest active venue. "We have to have an NBA-quality facility. I know that. I think the City of Phoenix knows that. So, we have no choice but to get one of those two things done."

When asked whether he's open to a joint venue with the Coyotes, Sarver didn't slam the door on that possibility, but he made it clear that such an arrangement wouldn't work if the Suns simply decide to renovate their current building.

"I’m open to do what’s best for the City of Phoenix and for us, first and foremost. If that happens to be this building, then that’s not an option because of the way this building was built," he said.

Regardless of the outcome, Sarver said he hopes to see construction on a new or renovated arena "within the next couple years." In the meantime, he continues to weigh his options, including where the Suns might play if they move out of their current building.

"I’m looking at different options here within the Valley. First priority is downtown Phoenix, but if that’s not something the city wants to do, I’ve got to look somewhere else," he said. "We’re getting to that point where we’ve got to start getting something done."