Suns owner Robert Sarver: I am 100 percent committed to Phoenix
The Phoenix Suns tweeted a video Thursday of team owner Robert Sarver offering a message regarding their recent proposal to the city to renovate Talking Stick Resort Arena and the news that followed after that.
On Wednesday, a report from AZCentral.com’s Laurie Roberts indicated that Sarver had told “city officials that he may take the team to Seattle or Las Vegas.”
The city official clarified the quote in question on Thursday.
“The council member on Thursday clarified the above quote, saying that Sarver didn’t mention Seattle or Las Vegas by name during their conversation but that he did make it clear the team wants to leave if the deal is not approved.”
The city postponed a vote on a $230 million renovation deal that would keep the Suns downtown until 2037. The vote was originally scheduled for Wednesday but was moved to Jan. 23.
In the video, Sarver stated the following:
Hello Suns fans. I hope you take a minute to listen to an important message that I want to share with you. First and foremost, the Phoenix Suns are not leaving Phoenix. I am 100 percent committed and have been for the last four years to find a solution to keep them in downtown Phoenix, where they belong. I am a strong proponent, as evidenced by the term sheet that I signed last week, that we should renovate the Talking Stick Resort Arena and once again restore it to a world-class facility. In addition, it is important for the Phoenix Suns to build a first-class practice facility, so the players of the Suns and the Phoenix Mercury can continue to develop. I am 100 percent all-in in keeping this team right here where we stand. And I want to make sure that message comes across crystal clear to every single one of you. Thank you.
Sarver has been scrutinized heavily in the past, but particularly recently given the news involving the arena. Before the season began, Sarver relieved then-general manager Ryan McDonough of his duties just nine days before the opener. The alleged threat to possibly relocate the team only stoked some fans’ anger.
Suns CEO Jason Rowley denied Wednesday that a threat to move was made. He joined Burns & Gambo on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station and said the team was committed to staying in the Valley.
“There has been no threat,” Rowley said. “This has not been characterized as an adversarial relationship or a dispute or a conflict. The reality is, we’ve been working hand-in-hand with the City of Phoenix to come up with a resolution for the building that can work for everybody long term. It has not been a conflict or dispute.”