The Tempe City Council touched on two hot topics Thursday night: Saving a historic landmark and evaluating its future with the NFL.
The council decided to hold off for now on proposals to renovate the stone bleachers and outfield wall at Tempe Beach Stadium, a Depressionera project that has deteriorated rapidly in the past few years. Several council members said they support saving the area, but not to the tune of $1.2 million — an estimate on how much it would cost to fix the bleachers and a nearby portion of the old Ash Avenue bridge.
City staff members will come up with several alternatives to saving the wall and come back to the council in January, when the city conducts its midyear budget review.
The council was more divided on a request by the NFL to make a bid to host the NFL Experience, a 10-day entertainment event that would come to the Valley if Glendale wins its bid for the 2008 Super Bowl.
"No way, no how," said Councilman Ben Arredondo of the $90,000 cost to the city. "Take the game, take the team and head west. I’m not going to give them a dime."
Councilman Len Copple agreed, saying the NFL was trying to entice Tempe and Glendale into a costly bidding war.
"I say no. Absolutely no. I’d say something else no if I could get away with it," he said.
Councilman Dennis Cahill said he wondered if Tempe should make the bid to support East Valley hotel rooms. Arredondo shot back that people will stay in the East Valley because the West Valley has fewer rooms.
"Bring your camping gear and spend the night," he said.
Mayor Neil Giuliano asked city staff members to research how much the city made on the NFL Experience when it hosted the 1996 Super Bowl. The council will vote in the coming weeks on whether to put in a bid.