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EAST VALLEY CITIES TAKE STEP BACK FROM PRO SPORTS COMPLEX
Published October 9, 1997
Three East Valley, AZ, cities -- Tempe, Mesa and Scottsdale -- passed on a multipurpose dome, "saying they liked the concept but wanted more details about private investment in the stadium," according to Chris Moeser of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The decision "effectively ends chances that a sales tax to pay for the stadium could be before East Valley voters" in '98 and "casts serious doubts" about the proposed National Sports Center that would be home to both the Cardinals and Coyotes. But city mayors and team officials said that the proposal just "needs more work." Cardinals VP/Gen. Counsel Michael Bidwill: "[W]e've got to sit down with private side developers, perhaps the Coyotes, and put together a package." The East Valley Partnership had proposed a quarter-cent sales tax that would raise about $223M for the sports center and the Partnership had lobbied the cities to create a sports district to work out details on the cost of the project with voters having "final say on any tax proposal." But Moeser writes the fact that cites "were unwilling even to start the process of putting a tax before voters is telling" and "speaks volumes about the political climate in the wake of Bank One Ballpark" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 10/9). Bidwill: "We're doing the reverse of Bank One Ballpark and the way that was done. We're doing it in the light of day and we're doing it openly." Coyotes COO Shawn Hunter said they too want "more information about the scope of the project, where it will be, what it will look like, and what it will cost" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 10/9).