USA Basketball Move to Arizona in Doubt After Collapse of "USA Place" Deal With ASU
As we reported earlier this afternoon, Arizona State University announced today that the USA Place project was dead but that it was committed to putting a hotel and conference at the site.
The university said nothing about being committed to bringing Colorado Springs-based USA Basketball to Arizona. News reports from 2013 suggested the move -- slated for 2016 -- was dependent on USA Place getting built.
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ASU made the announcement to New Times this afternoon after saying on Wednesday that it had nothing new to report about the project. ASU spokesman Mark Johnson, however, did confirm that USA Place had blown a December 31 deadline to find a financial backer.
Also on Wednesday, USA Place indicated it was still trying to salvage the deal and that it was working on plans to put $4 million down with ASU to keep its options open.
Then, after New Times published an article today about the project being on life support, the Arizona Board of Regents released the following statement from ASU: "Arizona State University and USA Place, LLC were unable to reach agreement regarding USA Place's proposed development at University and Mill prior to the expiration of the exclusive negotiating period. ASU remains committed to developing a first-class hotel and conference center at the site and intends to pursue other options to move forward with the City of Tempe to realize that goal."
We asked for clarification of the statement, particularly as it related to USA Basketball's potential move. We haven't yet heard back from ASU.
Craig Miller, spokesman for USA Basketball, says he wasn't aware the USA Place deal has fallen apart. He'll ask the organization's CEO, Jim Tooley, about the situation and get back to us.
When the basketball group's move was announced in July 2013, its chairman, sports mogul Jerry Colangelo told the press, "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."
Although the organization only has about 15 employees, it sets up basketball training camps and exhibitions that bring in hundreds of students, coaches and even the occasional NBA star.
We'll update this article when we get more info.
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