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AVONDALE, AZ-In hopes of countering other proposals with better locations and more political clout, a small Phoenix suburb has submitted a financial package and site proposal that would be the least expensive option for building a $331-million stadium for the Phoenix Cardinals.

On Tuesday night, Avondale’s City Council unanimously approved a financing package and site proposal to be sent to the Tourism and Sports Authority, the group that’s deciding where to build the new 73,000-seat stadium.

Avondale is proposing a 450-acre site at 99th Avenue and Thomas Road. The parcel, and another 450 acres around it, is owned by home builder John F. Long, who will lease the land to the city for just $1.8 million a year, a fraction of the $25 million that Ernst & Young estimated that it would cost to buy the land. Long has also promised to purchase $28 million in city bonds, funds that would be used for parking and infrastructure improvements.

To assemble the parcel Avondale plans to annex 300 acres from Phoenix, combining it with 150 acres already within Avondale to form the full parcel. “If we are not selected to be on the short list, there will be no further negotiations,” says Avondale city manager Scott Schrader.

The Tourism and Sports Authority has said it will winnow the list of potential sites down to two in mid-January, with a winning site selected by mid-February.

Phoenix Mayor Skip Rimsza has not fully committed to allowing Avondale to annex the 300 acres, but has said that the issues are not insurmountable. The stadium and parking would consume only a fraction of the total 450 acres, so the rest of the land would be available for hotels, retail shops, restaurants, bars and offices.

Avondale’s proposal is going up against several others vying to land the domed stadium. Tempe has submitted plans for a site near Tempe Town Lake, as well as a joint site it has with Mesa at the southeast corner of the Loop 101 and Loop 202. The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation has submitted a site proposal, and a site in downtown Phoenix has been suggested, although it hasn’t been formally submitted.

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