Phoenix Suns, Mercury debut new high-tech practice facility

Nov 18, 2020, 3:00 PM
(Phoenix Suns)...
(Phoenix Suns)
(Phoenix Suns)

A renovated arena isn’t the only building change for the Phoenix Suns this year.

On Tuesday, the Suns unveiled their new state-of-the-art practice facility at 44th Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix.

The Verizon 5G Performance Center is a huge upgrade from the previous Suns & Mercury practice facility that was in the basement of Talking Stick Resort Arena for the past 27 years.

“This facility was designed with focus and intention,” Suns general manager James Jones said in a press release.

Through a partnership with Verizon Wireless, the 53,000-square-foot campus features innovative technology throughout.

In what is called the 5G Lab, 3-D force plates and more than 150 cameras and sensors will show motion analysis and player and ball tracking, providing coaches and trainers with more data on each player’s biomechanics and basketball development.

“My hope is to bring necessary analysis of biometric movement and basketball performance together in real-time so that our coaches and trainers can make critical evaluations in practice, during games and throughout the development of our players like never before,” Jones said. “In short, I want us to be smarter and more efficient.”

Along with the advanced technology are two regulation-size basketball courts – for the Suns and the Mercury. Nearby is a training area and outdoor agility yard that include custom-designed strength and conditioning equipment.

The Suns’ locker room features a large LED TV screen to review film and custom-built lockers from Germany that are designed to have a ventilation system.

The Mercury have their own locker room and training center on the opposite side of the building, according to the release.

Finally, a spacious player lounge, open 24/7, provides a space for players to relax and hang out with each other. The lounge includes couches, televisions with video game systems, a full-service kitchen, a barber chair and a sensory deprivation chamber.

Suns’ owner Robert Sarver funded the $45 million project.

“We’ve thought through every detail of this building to give our players a state-of-the-art facility where they can work on their craft but also spend quality time together,” Sarver said. “Enabling that time together will help form a tight-knit unit, which is integral to the culture of success that James and Monty (Williams) have created.”

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