I Believe The Tempe Entertainment District Is Good For Our City

Yes Coyotes Tempe Entertainment District

After months of review, I firmly believe that the Tempe Entertainment District is good for our City.

This page will be updated as more information is available, but I wanted to get a few things on here because the ignorance about the project is high.

For several months, I researched, read documents, had conversations, listened to presentations and helped facilitate presentations about the Arizona Coyotes proposal to build an entertainment district in the City of Tempe.

I was also the co-chairman of a committee at the Tempe Chamber of Commerce tasked to review the proposal.

During my research, I have heard from people for and against the project. Like many people, I was skeptical, to say the least.

I stand firmly in the camp where people often say “I don’t want to pay for a stadium so that billionaires can make more millionaires.” I also stand firmly with these people who support this project.

Highest and Best Use – Tempe Entertainment District

Tempe Entertainment District Highest and Besy Use

In looking at the overall terms of the deal, the impact on our community, the creation of jobs and many other factors, I can honestly say that I believe that our City should move forward and allow this site to be developed.

No New Taxes:

Here’s how it works: This is a privately funded project that will NOT cost Tempe taxpayers ANY money unless they live or spend money within the new 46 acre Tempe Entertainment District. Let me say it another way. If you currently own or lease a home in Tempe, you will NOT pay ANY additional monies to help pay for this PRIVATELY funded project. No additional sales or property taxes are being used to fund this project. ALL costs associated with the project are paid by the developer and by ON SITE tax generation.

See this Tempe Entertainment District synopsis from the City of Tempe for a good overview of the proposed agreement.

This is another page that has more Tempe Entertainment District info in English and in Spanish. It’s a really good document, especially for people who have been sharing false information rather than looking at the facts of the deal.

Thankfully, our Mayor and City Council agree. In fact, they voted 7-0 to move forward with this proposal.

Here’s a really good interview that Mayor Woods did recently. You should listen to it!

Also, as stated in this article by Craig Morgan, this is a privately funded project and could be the best arena deal in the history of the state of Arizona:

“If you don’t go and watch a game, if you don’t buy a hat or a jersey in the Tempe entertainment district, if you don’t dine in one of the restaurants and you don’t stay in the apartments, if you don’t go to the hotel, you’re not going to be paying for it,” Woods said. “It’s going to be entirely privately financed and it’s going to be the people who actually want to enjoy this opportunity with the Tempe entertainment district that are going to be footing the bill for the experience.”

“People I think will look at this and as they pull it apart, I think they will realize what’s been structured and put together by our team here really is the best arena deal in the history of the state of Arizona.” – Tempe Mayor Corey Woods

Of course, not everyone agrees that this is the right fit for our City. Some believe a better deal is available. Some believe that this deal will never see the light of day. The fact is, no other developer responded to the RFP. The site is a challenge in that the huge remediation costs may have been prohibitive to many developers. The fact that the City gets a $40,000,000 non-refundable payment from this developer is a huge bonus to the residents of Tempe. Maybe some people would prefer to have Tempe pay this $40+ million so that the land can be sold to someone else? No thanks, says this taxpayer.

In listening to some of the people who are opposed to the project, I came to the conclusion that we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Especially with the people who hide behind keyboards or are not willing to have intelligent discussions when given the opportunity to do so.

This is a private developer looking to develop a huge project with many benefits to the City of Tempe. They have submitted a proposal that fits the specifications of the Request For Proposal from the City. Bluebird Development and the Arizona Coyotes have not asked to change the terms of the RFP.

Much More Than A Hockey Stadium:

While much of the talk is about the Coyotes wanting to build a hockey stadium in Tempe, it is important for people to understand that there will be a LOT more built on the site.

Restaurants, shopping, hotels, office space and more are part of the Tempe Entertainment District. I believe this will be a good addition to this dynamic part of Tempe.

Please look at all of the FACTS of the proposal, and please be sure to vote YES on propositions 301,302,303 on or before May 16th, 2023.

More Details of the Proposal:

  • * The Tempe Entertainment District is 46 acres of land located at Priest and Rio Salado.
  • * Once approved, the developer will pay the City $40 million to remediate the land.
  • * A 1,500-square-foot emergency response and public safety facility will be constructed onsite.
  • * Developer to give Tempe $1.1 million a year for public safety expenses during the life of the 30-year arena GPLET.
  • * Developer to pay $2 million to Tempe for affordable/workforce housing construction.
  • * Developer to pay Tempe $1.5 million for general city enhancements.

This video is a good overview of the proposal. Take a look!

Here’s another quote from former councilmember Onnie Shekerjian. I think she makes some really good points:

“Quite frankly, this is how sports arenas and stadiums should have always been developed.
What is exciting is the development of the 46 acres of other development that will come with it and tax revenues: retail stores, office space, residential, hotels all of which will generate large amounts of money in sales, property and bed taxes all on a piece of property that will likely never be developed because of the expensive land remediation that is needed.” – Onnie Shekerjian

Here’s a  website from the Coyotes with some more details of what will be built. There will also be updates posted on the Tempe Wins Facebook page.

Here’s a video with more of my thoughts on the proposals.

We’ll have more updates here in the near future. Please check back.

Update from 12/11/22. Here’s another video where Mayor Woods talks to AZFamily.com.

And yet another GREAT (April 2023) interview by Mayor Woods. Please look and listen.

Here’s the WP Carey – Tempe Entertainment District study that was done by the Seidman Research Institute at ASU. And a follow up Seidman Institute Response for even more clarification.

How To VOTE for the Tempe Entertainment District:

This has mostly been a mail-in election. At this point, ballots should be dropped off to be counted. The details are as follows:

If you haven’t mailed your ballot you can still vote YES!

  • Vote in-person at the Tempe History Museum located at 809 E. Southern Ave. Hours are weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. On May 16th, Election Day, it is open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Drop off your completed ballot at Tempe City Hall, 31 E. Fifth St. between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m by May 16th. Due to construction, there are several free, 10-minute parking spots on the south side of Fifth Street. Residents can use those for quick ballot drop-offs. The entrance to City Hall is temporarily at the southeast corner of the pyramid. Follow the signs to the drop-off location.

Nick Bastian
Nick Bastian
Nick Bastian is a 31 year veteran of the real estate industry and enjoys his career very much. Nick is always available to "talk shop" with anyone that may have real estate related questions. "Just Call Nick" at 602-803-NICK (6425) - he's glad to help. Nick can also be found over on Instagram and Twitter ( @NickbastianAZ ) or out and about in the community making friends and having some fun.

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