Maricopa County Pays Off Stadium Debt

Here’s something you rarely see. Maricopa County has paid off the debt it accrued on the baseball stadium – 19 years ahead of schedule.

According to the Phoenix Business Journal,

“The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved the final payment of $15 million, including more than $9 million in interest. The final payment was not expected for 19 years. By taking care of the payment early, the county saved taxpayers more than $9.5 million in additional interest.”

Considering all the controversy over Maricopa County’s role in the creation of this massive project, its quite a feat to walk away from the debt and tax burden this created for Maricopa taxpayers.

Read the original press release – Maricopa County Press Release – Stadium Debt.


  1. Buddy Breon says

    Great! Now, I guess that justifies the use of tax money to build athletic facilities for rich men to get richer.

    And, of course, it justifies the end-run done on the taxpayers by the then Board of Supervisors after Phoenix voters had disapproved the measure.

    Tell me something. How much do the Phoenix Suns owe the City of Phoenix at the end of their lease on U.S. Airways Center IF (and, that’s a big “if”) they are still tenants at that time?

    Sure. It all makes sense to me. I have had my eyes opened. Taking from the taxpayers is ok because the Board of Supervisors actually paid off the debt early! Wonder who’s money they used to pay off the debt….

  2. George of the Desert says

    I have to respond to this because I believe in our republic – yes republic. We do not live in a pure democracy, thank God. If we did, everything would be subject to a majority vote and that would essentially be anarchy.

    Whether people agree with the method for financing the stadium or not, the process was done in public and with a vote. The Maricopa County Supervisors voted to create a tax to build the stadium, and it was by no means secret.

    Each one of those supervisors had to account for their vote to their constituents.

    Jim Bruner was held to account by losing a congressional primary to John Shadegg. The stadium vote was a huge part of that campaign. Bruner is a good and decent man, but the voters punished him politically. That’s life, and it’s how our system works.

    Mary Rose Wilcox, of whom I am no fan, was shot in the read end (oops… “upper thigh”) by a crazed gunman who was angry about the vote. That, most definitely, is NOT a part of our system.

    The other supes were re-elected or moved on to other jobs.

    To describe this an an end-run around the taxpayers is folly. Every year our legislature votes on bills – many of which cost money. They always vote on a budget (i.e., how your tax dollars are spent). There is NOT a statweide vote of the people on our budget, though it certainly impacts all Arizonans’ pocketbooks. Is this an end-run around the taxpayers? No, because we have a representative form of government. If you don’t like the way your legislators are voting, throw ’em out.

    The legislature in the early 1990s passed a law that allowed the Maricopa County supes to do what they did in regards to the stadium. They exercised that authority and incurred the wrath of some people. All of that is fine: it’s our process. But it is incorrect to state the supes acted improperly or in an underhanded way.

    Disagree with their vote; that’s your right, but it was an exercise in representative democracy and more people need to understand how that system works.

  3. Your distinction is shaky, George of the Desert. What was the point of having the elections if their results were going to be disregarded? Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t voters reject the tax three times? Sure, it was legal for the state legislature and the board of supervisors to collaborate on a new legal mechanism to increase taxes, but the fact that they did so confirms Buddy Breon’s larger point: the Board of Supervisors disregarded the taxpayers.

    Bottom line: bad character and fiscal irresponsiblity are legal. Do you want people with those qualities to represent you? Buddy Breon doesn’t, and I agree.

    By the way, did you know that the board of supervisors has made commitments to pay for the upgrades to the stadium with taxpayer money? The major of the board is Republican, but Republican doesn’t mean fiscally conservative anymore. I invite Andy Kunasek, Don Stapley, Fulton Brock, and Max Wilson to justify spending taxpayer money on upgrading the stadium.

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