Phoenix Suns, Mercury place formal bids to NBA, WNBA for future All-Star games
The Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury have placed formal bids to the NBA and WNBA, respectively, to host future All-Star games, Suns officials said.
“We’re excited to partner with the city of Phoenix to engage the NBA and WNBA to bring both All-Star Games to the Valley,” Suns and Mercury majority owner Mat Ishbia said in a statement. “Phoenix is one of the great basketball cities in the world and the perfect place to bring together the players and fans to celebrate the sport. The Phoenix Suns and Mercury want to continue finding new and important ways to partner with the city to bring real impact to our community.”
Both proposals will be on the agenda at next week’s Phoenix City Council meeting. The city
The Phoenix area already is scheduled to host the 2024 NCAA Men’s Final Four, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, and the 2026 NCAA Women’s Final Four at Footprint Center.
“We're doing things differently in Phoenix, and the sports world has noticed,” Phoenix mayor Kate Gallego said in a statement. “From world-class facilities like Footprint Center to our sustainable, innovative transportation options like light rail or Waymo driverless taxis, Phoenix has everything we need to put on a successful major event like the WNBA and NBA All-Star games."
Phoenix last hosted the NBA All-Star game in 2009 when Shaquille O’Neal, who was playing for the Suns, and the late Kobe Bryant shared the All-Star game MVP award.
The city also hosted the NBA All-Star game in 1995 at the downtown arena when it was called America West Arena and in 1975 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Phoenix hosted the WNBA All-Star game in 2000 and 2014.
“I'm excited to support our bids to be a host city and am looking forward to hearing positive news back from the WNBA and NBA,” Gallego concluded in the statement.
The 2023 WNBA All-Star game will be July 15 at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, while the 2024 NBA All-Star game will be Feb. 18, in Indianapolis at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Indianapolis was scheduled to host the 2021 NBA All-Star game, but that was during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While we are disappointed that the NBA All-Star Game will not take place in Indianapolis in 2021, we are looking forward to the Pacers and the city hosting the game and surrounding events in 2024,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver at that time.
The 2021 NBA All-Star game wound up being March 7, 2021 in Atlanta at State Farm Arena.
Last year, USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt tweeted that San Francisco (Golden State Warriors), Milwaukee (Milwaukee Bucks) and Atlanta (Atlanta Hawks) are “strong possibilities” to host the NBA All-Star game.
Next NBA All-Star Weekend is in Salt Lake City in 2023. After that, Indianapolis in 2024. Nothing in stone after that, but these three teams/cities are strong possibilities in the years ahead:
Warriors/San Francisco (just about a sure thing)
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) February 22, 2022
Lee Zeidman, president of Crypto.com Arena, told The Sporting Tribune they were looking to work with Los Angeles to put in a bid for the 2025 NBA All-Star game.
“We plan on submitting a bid when advised by the NBA that the bid process is open for 2025,” Zeidman said in the story earlier this year. “And we would love to host in 2025, making it every seven years since 2004. Our renovations will be complete and our long and successful history of hosting three NBA All-Star weekends at L.A. Live as well as other major events coupled with our strong working relationships with the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission and the City of Los Angeles, we would hope position AEG as a strong contender for the bid.”
Los Angeles last hosted the All-Star game in 2018 at Staples Center, which has since become Crypto.com Arena.
The Suns and Mercury are working with the City of Phoenix, Visit Phoenix, Downtown Phoenix Inc, Arizona Commerce Authority, the Phoenix Convention Center and more to have future All-Star games in Phoenix.
Las Vegas has hosted two of the last three WNBA All-Star games in 2019 and 2021.
Chicago hosted the weekend last year. The WNBA didn't have an All-Star game in 2020 amid the pandemic.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Phoenix Suns, Mercury place formal bids to NBA, WNBA for future All-Star games