Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton gave a fine State of the City speech this week (you can watch it here). One could quibble with his "Not even a decade after the Great Recession shook us to our knees, Phoenix has emerged stronger and more resilient than ever before with an economy that is breaking free from the chains of the boom-then-bust cycle." Phoenix has far under-performed its peer cities in this recovery. But Stanton is an upbeat guy and Phoenicians have a hard time with reality.
He deserves credit for the courage to call out the Kookocracy's war on cities.
Now, the hard stuff. Outside the prepared remarks, the mayor supports building a new arena to be shared by the Suns and Coyotes, with at least some taxpayer money involved. The Arizona Republic reported, "Phoenix already has a permanent tourism tax on hotel and motel stays and car rentals. It is in the process of selling the city-owned Sheraton hotel and the Translational Genomics Research Institute building downtown, projects supported by the tourism tax. By getting those buildings off its books, the city could potentially free up revenue to help pay for a new stadium."
Not surprisingly, this produced its share of criticism. For example, E.J. Montini columnized about rich team owners asking for welfare:
So, politely as possible, I would suggest that all of us collectively send a little note to these guys:
"Dear Suns, Coyotes (and Diamondbacks),
"Build your own damn sports complex.