The Phoenix Suns unveiled renderings and provided more details Thursday night surrounding the team's $230 million renovation project of Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Labeled "Project 201: PHX Reimagined," the 27-year-old venue, one of the oldest in the NBA that hasn't been remodeled, will see an entire transformation. Among the upgrades is a new video scoreboard centerpiece that's six times larger than the current scoreboard. In partnership with Verizon, the team will also upgrade the building to 5G coverage and enhance suites as the Suns are hoping to improve the fan experience at the arena.
"The sound system, the lighting system; we're putting all new seats in the bowls," Suns Managing Partner and Western Alliance Bancorporation Executive Chairman Robert Sarver told CNBC in an interview. "We reimaged the whole entrance to the arena … that's going to turn into a sports bar with an 8,500-square foot video wall, and that'll be the hub of activity in the building."
According to details of the project, the City of Phoenix will contribute $150 million to the renovations while the team will add $80 million. As part of the agreement, the Suns are also privately funding a new state-of-the-art practice facility in Phoenix, which will cost in the range of $45-50 million.
The Suns renewed their lease with the city, who owns the building, six months ago, and the current contract runs out in 2037. As part of the renovation agreement, the organization can exercise an option to remain tenants until 2042.
According to The Arizona Republic, if the Suns break the lease before 2037, the team could be hit with a $200 million fine.
Additional features of the upgrade include a 15,000-square-foot kitchen and a corner bar located in the bowl section of the arena. The bar is something Sarver says will attract the Suns' younger fanbase, as the team will look to take advantage of Arizona State University's downtown campus with 12,000 students.
"We have a bigger pool to draw from, and the products that we put in place are tailored towards that pool of students," Sarver said.
Sarver said the transformation should be 60% completed before the 2020-21 NBA season, with the second phase completed before the start of the 2021-22 season. Sarver added that the building would be closed next summer as "a lot of the heavy construction will take place."
Once the project is complete, Sarver said ticket prices would likely increase but says the team aims to keep those prices "affordable."
"Some of our products, the prices will go up based on the all-inclusive nature of what we're going to be offering," he said. "Other products, the prices will stay the same."
Entering Thursday night's contest with the New Orleans Pelicans, the Suns are 7-6 this season with a 5-4 home record.