it seems like the city of tempe is more interested in raising money to support the downtown area then in providing services to its citizens. - here is an example

City wants kids' sports facility Complex would generate cash flow

Ty Young The Arizona Republic Dec. 8, 2005 12:00 AM

Tempe officials are close to wrapping up a deal that would turn 18 acres of vacant land near Tempe Town Lake into a money-generating youth sports complex.

In September, the city asked for proposals from national youth sports organizations to develop the land, on Rio Salado Parkway west of Priest Drive. The plan is to build indoor and outdoor courts and fields to attract national and international youth sports tournaments. The indoor facility is anticipated to be between 70,000 and 90,000 square feet, and could house amateur sports tournaments.

Four bids were received last month. Because the city is still in negotiations with each developer, it would not disclose information on specific bids. But the Community Development Department concluded interviews with the developers Tuesday and expects to suggest a project to the City Council in January, said Chris Salomone, department director.

"We want this done . . . everybody has a sense of urgency about it," he said.

The city specified the developer must be able to build the complex and attract tourist dollars. Because of this, the city did not approach non-profit organizations.

"Our intentions with the project is to both support youth sports and put people in hotels," Salomone said. "We want a tournament that will bring tourists to the city."

The AmeriSuites hotel is just south of the project site.

Once a project is selected and approved by council, Salomone expects the facility to be completed within one year. The complex likely would include basketball courts, and soccer, baseball and softball fields.

The city purchased the land, along with a 52-acre plot directly east, from the Bureau of Land Management in 1997.

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