Talking Stick Resort’s naming agreement for Suns arena concludes
Talking Stick Resort announced Friday that its five-year agreement with the Phoenix Suns over the naming rights to its arena, the home of the Suns and Phoenix Mercury, has concluded.
US Airways Center became Talking Stick Resort Arena at the start of the 2015-16 season. Talking Stick Resort said in a press release it began negotiations with the Suns in early 2020, prior to the pandemic, to renew the naming rights. The resort ultimately decided not to renew.
The news is quite timely, as the arena is currently undergoing $150 million in renovations that the franchise has been heavily promoting. The team planned to complete a certain percentage of the renovations before the 2020-21 season, play out that season in the arena and then finish the remainder of the renovations the next offseason.
That entire process, of course, has been affected by the pandemic.
The latest update on progress came from owner Robert Sarver in June on The Outlet podcast with Lindsey Smith. Sarver said that 70% of the total renovations would be completed this year at TSRA, as opposed to the pre-pandemic estimated 50%.
The team also is launching a new $80 million practice facility in Scottsdale called “The Lab” that Sarver last said in June was to be up-and-running by September, with no further updates coming since.
The NBA’s league calendar has taken shifts as well, also affecting this process.
The Suns’ pre-bubble preparation was done at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum due to serious renovation work already being firmly set in place to begin in late April, the original date Phoenix’s season was supposed to conclude. Players have continued to use the Madhouse to have workouts at during this offseason in the last few weeks.
There’s now a deadline in place for the Suns, as the National Basketball League’s Players Association agreed on Thursday to a plan for the 2020-21 season with a start date of Dec. 22 for a reduced 72-game season.