PHOENIX SUNS

Mat Ishbia all in on Suns, Mercury, but won’t rule out NFL ‘1 day’

Feb 16, 2024, 4:55 PM

Mat Ishbia at a Phoenix Suns game...

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Mat Ishbia’s ambitious mindset eventually led him to the Valley where he officially purchased the teams in 2023.

A known hooper, Ishbia’s focus has been on one thing since he got to town: Win championships.

But while he’s all in on both the Suns and Mercury, Ishbia is always open for an opportunity given the right time and place.

“I’d love that. I originally bid on the Denver Broncos,” Ishbia told The Pat McAfee Show on Friday when asked if he had any interest in owning an NFL franchise. “I was trying to get in on that. I didn’t get that one. NBA’s my thing, WNBA’s my thing. I’m a basketball guy. I wouldn’t rule out NFL one day but NBA, WNBA I got a lot of work to do to learn.

“I know a lot of NFL owners, I met a lot of them,” he added. “Honestly, this is the one thing about sports that I’ve learned … NFL owners, NBA owners, MLB owners, they have been great. When I was trying to buy a team and learning about it, they would welcome me, have lunch with me, talk with me, strategize. They were over-the-top cool with me. They didn’t know me for anybody. … Adam Silver, Rodger Goodell, they care about the sport so much. It was better than expected.”

Ishbia’s comments come days after the Suns and Mercury owner announced the formation of Player 15 Group, an entertainment and real estate operating and investment company that will tie his teams together.

His holdings include: the NBA and WNBA franchises; Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix; a planned $100 million development that will host Suns and Mercury business operations, plus the Mercury’s new practice facility; and the yet-to-be-named G League team, which will be located in the Phoenix metro area.

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