Here’s Why Money Magazine Named Goodyear the Best Place to Live in Arizona Article originally posted on AZ Central on September 20, 2019 Goodyear has rapidly expanded its list of big-name employers, from Microsoft to Nike, which is why the suburb of nearly 85,000 residents southwest of Phoenix was named one of the 50 best places to live in the U.S. Money magazine ranked Goodyear 22nd in its annual list of the 50 best American cities to live in. It’s the only Arizona city to make the list this year. Peoria was 29th in 2018. “Maintaining a high quality of life for our residents is important and it’s certainly an honor to receive this recognition,” Mayor Georgia Lord said in a statement, noting the city’s success has come with strategic planning. The ranking for cities with at least 50,000 residents is based on each city’s cost of living, diversity, education and safety. High-profile employers and high incomes Money gave Goodyear high marks for its Goodyear Ballpark spring training field and proximity to downtown Phoenix, but jobs were the big winner. This year alone, Goodyear has attracted hundreds of new jobs from high-profile employers and its median income of $79,480 is more than most in the region. The magazine lauded two specific forthcoming developments in particular: Microsoft’s data centers and Nike’s manufacturing facility. Microsoft will employ 110 people at its Goodyear locations and one in El Mirage. Nike will employ about 500 full-time workers with an average salary of $48,514 per year, including overtime and bonuses. Other big names, such as Amazon and UPS Inc., also have Goodyear facilities. The growing Loop 303 corridor has several warehouses for Dick’s Sporting Goods, REI and Sub-Zero. Goodyear, like many of its West Valley neighbors, has for years sought to build its employment base to reduce the number of residents who must commute outside the city for work. Outdoor recreation, desert scenery While the West Valley in recent years has grown exponentially, adding tall buildings with a mix of development and entertainment districts, Southwest Valley cities such as Goodyear have kept outdoor recreation as a priority. Moneycites the pristine desert landscapes in the Estrella Mountain Regional Park and the city’s 296 sunny days each year as big wins for residents. Goodyear is breaking ground next month on its first-ever recreation center, which will come with a large regional park. Goodyear for years has talked with nearby Avondale and Buckeye about developing along the Gila River. While some leaders see an opportunity to build something like Tempe Town Lake with riverfront development, Goodyear officials have their eyes on trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Top 5 places to live Clarksville, Tennessee, took No. 1 in the Money rankings for its proximity to Nashville, low home prices and strong mom-and-pop business scene. The others are: No. 2: Round Rock, Texas. No. 3: Fishers, Indiana. No. 4: Fulton River District, Illinois. No. 5: Country Club Heights, North Carolina.