TEMPE, AZ-The Tourism and Sports Authority, a private entity, is reviving construction on the $375-million stadium for the Arizona Cardinals in Tempe.

The decision comes amid a legal threat from the City of Phoenix and concerns from the FAA that the stadium will impact safety for aircraft landings at Sky Harbor International Airport. Earlier this week, the sports authority ordered more than $1.9 million of Belgian steel for the stadium’s skeleton. The shipment is set to arrive at the worksite by late October. Hunt Construction Group, the project’s construction manager, will have crews busy this week rerouting utilities and excavating tons of dirt.

Just prior to this week’s TSA vote, Phoenix’s solicitor told the board an injunction will be sought if work resumes prior to a final safety determination by the FAA. The federal agency was scheduled to examine the site Tuesday, but it was canceled as a result of the terrorists attacks in New York City and Washington, DC. A new date has not been set.

Work ceased two months ago after the FAA and Phoenix officials said the stadium posed a potential threat to incoming air traffic. The stadium’s original site was directly under the flight path and about two miles east of the runway. FAA officials said the stadium was higher than allowed for an emergency pathway to the airport. The stadium to be built at the northeast corner of the Red Mountain Freeway section of Loop 202 and Priest Drive.

In response to the FAA concerns, TSA bought an under-construction multifamily development from its developer and then, along with City of Tempe officials, agreed to move the stadium to the east by 1,600 feet. In doing so, TSA also pointed out to the FAA that two existing office buildings in the vicinity exceeded maximum height restrictions.

Meanwhile, West Valley developer John F. Long, who supported Avondale in the stadium face-off, has sued, claiming the selection of Tempe violates the intent of funding legislation. He claims only Maricopa County was designated in the legislation for the public funding. He also is still prodding the state attorney general to pursue legal action although that office last week ruled the TSA decision fell within the scope of the law.

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