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PHOENIX-Competition for the $335-million football stadium is heating up–some say the battle is hotter than the Cardinal’s weekly performance

Tempe today will officially offer a site of its own to the Tourism and Sport Authority, which will decide in the next few months where to build the domed stadium.

Tempe Mayor Neil Giuliano plans to withdraw another site the city had posited and instead offer a 64-acre parcel in Papago Park Center, a 350-acre business park. The parcel is southeast of Washington Street and Priest Drive and just northwest of the Tempe Town Lake, a two-mile long lake that runs adjacent to downtown Tempe. Tempe is a suburb next to Phoenix and home to Arizona State University.

“We have the responsibility, now that voters have said yes to Proposition 302, to provide as many viable alternatives to the sports and tourism board to consider as possible,” Giuliaano says.

Tempe will withdraw a proposed site at the southwest corner of the Loop 101 and Loop 202. The site was considered problematic because of environmental cleanup issues.

The newly proposed site is attracted because it already has 7,000 available parking spaces, is vacant and could be developed for less than $40 million, say Tempe officials.

Tempe has partnered with Mesa to offer a joint site along the border between the two suburbs, a 108-acre parcel southeast of the Loop 101 and Loop 202. Tempe has recently voiced concern about that site, saying that the $120 million estimated to prepare it for construction is too much to get together in six months.

Like every community that’s offered up a site, Tempe wants to land the stadium and surrounding amenities that are sure to be built. If the stadium is built elsewhere, Tempe will not only lose the NFL Arizona Cardinals team, but also hosting of college football’s Fiesta Bowl.

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