Surprise is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA. The population was 30,848 at the 2000 census; however, rapid expansion has boosted the city’s population to 117,517 at the 2010 census, an increase of 281%. As such, it is the second fastest-expanding municipality in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area (after Gilbert) and, between 1990 and 2000, it was the sixth fastest-expanding place among all cities and towns in Arizona. The city has a 10,562-square-foot (981.2 m2) Aquatics Center, Maricopa County’s northwest regional library, a $5.5 million, 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) library, and a 100.3 cost of living index. Sun City Grand has become a large contributor to the city’s population, which more than septupled (7 times) from 10,187 to about 75,000 in 2004. Rapid growth has led city officials to estimate the population at over 103,000 as of 2007, a figure the city maintains in spite of more conservative population estimates by the Census Bureau. Thirty-two of the state’s top 50 homebuilders cater to new homebuyers, who are attracted by the city’s modestly priced homes, its relative proximity to Phoenix, and by the property taxes, which the city claims are among the lowest in the state.
In February 2007, the Surprise City Council unanimously approved an infrastructure reimbursement agreement with Westcor, facilitating construction of the largest regional mall in Arizona, Prasada. The agreement calls for Westcor to bear the cost of construction and installation of up to $240 million in infrastructure at the Prasada site, along SR303 in Surprise. The city will assume ownership of the infrastructure and reimburse Westcor for the cost by rebating sales taxes generated by Prasada itself. At full build out, the city expects to realize $60 million per year in sales taxes and projects that Prasada will create more than 20,000 jobs for local residents.
The city is the spring training home of the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers baseball teams. These Major League Baseball teams use Surprise Stadium for their activities. The city also hosted a Golden Baseball League team in 2005, the Surprise Fightin’ Falcons and the Recreation Campus ballpark and is the home city for a team in the Arizona Fall League, the Surprise Rafters. It also hosted ESPN SportsCenter 50 States in 50 Days segment on August 11, 2005. As part of the city’s Recreation Campus, Surprise is also home to the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex (STRC). Since its opening in August 2007, the complex has received numerous awards. Most recently, it was named the 2008 Outstanding Facility of the year award by the USTA. The complex hosts various professional events throughout the year, including the Outback Champion Series tour, a USTA Pro Circuit event, and many USTA regional and sectional events. In 2009 the complex was chosen as the site for the Fed Cup Quarter Final between the USA and Argentina.