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Volume 26 No. 135

Facilities

The Phoenix City Council could try to vote on a deal with the Suns to renovate Talking Stick Resort Arena as early as next month, according to sources. The city could chip in as much as $150M, and the Suns would put in $80M to modernize the downtown arena, according to another source. The city also would put in $2M annually for arena maintenance after the renovations. The Suns and city of Phoenix are tight-lipped about a potential deal to renovate the arena, with the city saying discussions are confidential. The Suns declined comment. The 27-year-old arena is one of the oldest in the NBA. The city and the team have been in discussions about the arena for three years, according to city spokesperson Julie Watters. Interim Phoenix Mayor Thelda Williams and city execs are looking to finalize a deal before a new mayor is elected in March. The front runner in the mayoral race, former city councilor Kate Gallego, has been skeptical of an arena deal. The team has not been interested in sharing a renovated or new arena with the Coyotes, who have been looking to move out of Gila River Arena in Glendale.

The new $10M Esports Stadium Arlington will debut Saturday hosting the FaceIt Esports Championship Series Season 6 Finals. The facility totals 100,000 square feet and was built out of space at the Arlington Convention Center near Dallas. Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams hopes the venue -- which is near AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park -- will be a tourism driver. Populous and Shawmut Design & Construction designed and built the arena, which has an 85-foot-long LED wall, its own production facility, data center, team rooms and event and retail space. Populous Senior Principal Brian Mirakian expects to see more and more dedicated esports venues (Mike Sunnucks, THE DAILY). In Ft. Worth, Bill Hanna noted Esports Stadium Arlington has been "billed as the largest dedicated facility of its kind in North America" and can be "configured to seat between 250 and 2,500 fans." Ngage Esports Founder & President Jonathon Oudthone said that the public will be able to "come in and play on dedicated computers in the lobby every day" from 12:00pm-2:00am. Oudthone: "What we're doing here is going to completely define the industry. Maybe we'll take over the old Rangers stadium one day." Hanna noted Williams believes the venue "cements Arlington's spot as the top entertainment destination between Orlando and Las Vegas." Oudthone said that he "expects to have 30 esports events" in the arena during its first year (Ft. Worth STAR-TELEGRAM, 11/20). The venue "gives an almost traditional space, to an untraditional sport" (DFW.CBSLOCAL.com, 11/19).