Once upon a time when Camelback Ranch was being developed, part of the master plan for the adjacent area was to create a new home for USA Basketball. Much of the land was owned by Ralph Burton. He had already proven himself as the city’s partner in bringing Cabela’s to Zanjero (a project he owned and planned), across Glendale Avenue from Westgate. Eventually he brought in two partners, Bob Banovac and Danny Herndon. In a spectacularly quiet but bloody legal battle Banovac and Herndon wrested control of Burton’s interests. All of the plans for the 2008 development surrounding Camelback Ranch died when Banovich and Herndon, despite an award from Tucson’s Industrial Development Authority (IDA), could not raise the money needed to develop. We were in the midst of our national recession and they, like many others, went into bankruptcy. Since then the banks have sold the land piecemeal to other interests. The hopes of developing the adjacent area as a cohesive unit were gone.
One of the proposed projects for that area was a plan to relocated USA Basketball’s training center from Colorado to Glendale. USA Basketball is the entity that chooses our nation’s Olympic basketball teams and provides a year round training center for those teams. In addition, it hosts a myriad of other events, open to the public, such as basketball clinics. There were also plans for another hotel to service those coming to the center and there was even talk of a sports medicine facility. It would have been a most welcome addition to the city’s plans for sports and entertainment surrounding the Loop 101.
On June 10, 2013 the Arizona Republic reported in an article written by Jeff Metcalfe and Anne Ryman entitled Sources: USA Basketball plans to relocate to Tempe. Here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/sports/articles/20130610usa-basketball-plans-to-relocate-to-tempe.html. On July 31, 2013 the Arizona Republic confirmed USA Basketball’s move in an article entitled Tempe lands HQ for USA Basketball by Anne Ryman and Jeff Metcalfe. Here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/community/tempe/articles/20130730tempe-lands-hq-usa-basketball.html?nclick_check=1 . Although they have finally found a new home for themselves I was saddened to learn that they will not be coming to Glendale. It is a major loss for Glendale and the West Valley.
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