Late Wednesday afternoon, on the same day news broke of the Arizona Coyotes striking a new, nine-year naming rights deal with the Gila River Indian Community to call their home Gila River Arena, a report surfaced that the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League would be moving their home games to the facility in 2015.
Not so fast, say the Rattlers.
Team president Joe Windham refuted the report in a phone conversation Wednesday evening, saying franchise officials were invited to tour the facility — a tour which they did take.
“That’s where it ended,” Windham said. “There’s no decision to make because we weren’t asked to move out there.”
The Rattlers have called US Airways Center (formerly America West Arena) home since the team’s inception in 1992.
“We’re focused on the Arena Bowl,” Windham said. The Rattlers will shoot for their fifth league championship, and third in a row, when they visit the Cleveland Gladiators at Quicken Loans Arena Aug. 23 in ArenaBowl 27.
When asked about a pending relocation announcement following the ArenaBowl, Windham replied sharply.
“The only announcement I hope we have after that is that we just won our third straight ArenaBowl and there’s a championship rally coming to US Airways Center,” he said.