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AZ taxpayers foot bill for church-service space

AZ taxpayers foot bill for church-service space

  • Updated

Hope Christian Church service in Tempe, Ariz., on Nov. 20, 2016.

Churches like Hope Christian that don’t have their own buildings typically must rent space at substantial cost  to hold services.

Hope’s parent church, for example, was paying close to $100,000 a year to rent the auditorium of Amphitheater High School until the Tucson church changed locations in 2015.

Hope, which had revenue of $1.6 million last year, gets  free meeting space during the school year through an ASU policy that allows a church-affiliated student club to book space at no cost for worship services.

Hope has one directly affiliated student club, Hope4ASU, known as Sun Devils 4 Christ until a recent name change. Since 2008, the club has been booking Neeb Hall, a 500-seat auditorium on campus, for weekly services advertised on Hope's website and open to the public.

A 500-seat meeting space typically rents for around $2,000 a day if booked by an outside organization, according to an ASU rental website.

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