Residents of the Valley have no doubt noticed that civic leaders and the owners of three big sports franchises are up to their waists in red tape and acrimony. The fight between the Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes and the City of Glendale over Gila River Arena has been public and ugly for years. The Suns say Talking Stick Resort Arena is too old. The Diamondbacks and their landlords are fighting over who should pay for repairs.
Throw in ASU, which is looking for a new place to play basketball and hockey, and you have a mess that is hotter than a sidewalk in July. What good could come of it?
So glad you asked.
This is merely a musing, so do not misinterpret what I’m about to say as any kind of insider knowledge, because I have none, on any subject.
Arizona United SC needs to own or control its use of a stadium by the year 2020, according to United Soccer League edict. In accordance with current Division 2 standards in the US, which the USL wants to meet, the minimum capacity of that stadium must be 5,000.
With so much land potentially changing hands in the next few years, from Glendale to DTPHX, to Tempe, partnership opportunities for Arizona United suddenly seem extremely plentiful. I’m no land developer, but I’m thinking that a deal for say, 15 acres, with an arena and soccer stadium side by side gets done much more easily than a 7-acre deal for just Arizona United.
That said, likely development spots include downtown, Karsten Golf Course at ASU, Salt River tribal land near the Diamondbacks’ spring training facility, and potentially even Sloane Park in Mesa. Where would you like to see the Firebirds build? Sound off in the comments.