UA's McKale Center east of downtown.
TUCSON -- City staff has unveiled a plan to spend $200 million on an arena complex downtown.
Unless we're going to get an NBA team -- the Tucson Suns? -- I'm not sure this is so smart.
Tucson already has a great arena, McKale Center at UA, close to downtown. The City should try harder to partner more with UA before spending big bucks on a new arena a couple of miles away from McKale.
"They're going to eat up all the TIF money," downtown-area activist Lillian Lopez-Grant said of the city. "And then they'll tell us it's all gone, too bad. We've been screwed so many times you almost accept it."
A new hotel may be wise (not if owned or run by the city), and improving TCC makes sense. But $130 million+ is lot of money to spend for an often empty arena with maybe a minor league hockey team and monster truck shows.
With peak oil and higher travel expenses, the big convention business may be on the downswing. We need downtown for Tucsonans first everyday, not just out of town convention goers a few times a year.
Tucson needs a creative Mayor who lives downtown, no longer Walkup the cheerleader from Starr Pass. Rio Nuevo suffers in part because the Mayor doesn't live downtown.
"Patterson just might be the dark horse Dems need." AZ Daily Star, 3/31/07
Any success with Rio Nuevo/New River should also include ecological restoration and related park-like improvements along the Rio Santa Cruz. At least then a new arena could overlook an attractive reborn river.
This arena plan seems desperate, uncreative, and outdated. Right now Rio Nuevo needs smart widespread progress, maybe not an expensive new city built and owned arena.