A few days ago, we heard more details about USA Basketball coming to Tempe. Since then, I’ve talked to people, read tweets and Facebook posts about USA Place coming to the SE corner of Mill and University. Yeah, it’s kind of a big deal. As in, another $350 million dollars big. Heck, seems like hundreds of millions are being spent in downtown Tempe and along Rio Salado like crazy these days.
Without a doubt, this will be great for basketball fans in Tempe and in the entire region. State of the art training facilities, five full courts and two half courts with a 4500 seat multi-purpose arena will be available for the athletes to use.
Not only does ASU find a use for their property, but they seem to have a pretty good shot at some serious recruiting opportunities while some of the top players in the country come to train in their back yard.
More Than Basketball:
Ok, ok, there is some serious hoops action coming to Tempe, but the 10.5 acres at Mill and University is also said to be getting: USA basketball headquarters and offices, a 330-room luxury hotel, a 30,000-square-foot conference center, 500 luxury apartments and some office and retail space. Yes, that’s on top of more than another BILLION dollars worth of projects coming to the 85281 zip code in downtown Tempe in the very near future. Some serious cash is coming to the area along with some serious basketball. We’re also hearing that the Arizona Interscholastic Association plans to use the facilities for tournaments in boys’ and girls’ basketball, volleyball, wrestling, badminton and spirit lines.
A luxury hotel? Ok, there will be a need for the athletes and visitors to stay. The Tempe Mission Palms and the new Marriott a couple of blocks away should combine for some great choices of places to stay in the Mill Avenue District. The conference Center? We’ve heard talks about a need for a while. More luxury apartments? It seems like we’ll have no shortage of “luxury rentals” in the downtown area. Yeah, I know… They have a right to add anything they want into the mix. These new units should fit right in near West 6th, the Hub on Campus, the new luxury rentals being built at Hayden Ferry and at Centerpoint next to the W6. Oh, and the 328 units over by the TCA.
More Butts In The Seats:
If you own a restaurant or a service business in the Mill Avenue District, this project probably makes you pretty happy. Having hungry executives, athletes and sports fans on this site instead of mostly vacant land should put dollars into your wallet. As you can see from the map below, there is no excuse for people to say they can’t find a place to grab some grub in the area.
View Light Rail Drinks in a larger map
This project has Jerry Colangelo written all over it.
"This is an exciting and an incredible opportunity that offers nothing but positives for USA Basketball," USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said in a statement. "USA Place will offer USA Basketball an excellent site for the development of its office headquarters, a training center and event center that will provide the organization with a first-class site for hosting junior level events and will allow USA Basketball to continue to evolve. The new USA Basketball headquarters and training center will be first-class, state of art facilities, something I know we will be very proud of."
I’m looking forward to watching some Team USA basketball in Tempe. As a long time basketball and sports fan, this sounds pretty cool.