Phoenix Suns name G League team 'Valley Suns,' will play home games at ASU's Mullett Arena

The Phoenix Suns have chosen a name for their G League team and found a home arena.

The Valley Suns will play their home games for the inaugural 2024-25 season at Mullett Arena at Arizona State University. G League teams have 24 home games as the regular season usually starts in November.

“The Valley Suns is the community’s team and will provide fans an energetic and family-friendly atmosphere while developing aspiring talent on and off the court,” said Suns CEO, Josh Bartelstein, in a statement released Wednesday. “We’re excited to launch the new G League team with a name and identity chosen by our fans and inspired by the unique desert landscape that we call home.”

The 5,000-seat arena hosts ASU hockey, volleyball and hosted the Arizona Coyotes this past season. The NHL franchise has since relocated to Salt Lake City.

Single-game and season ticket packages for G League games are expected to be announced in the near future.

“We are excited for Mullett Arena to be the home of the Valley Suns,” said Mullett Arena general manager, Amber Musgrave, in a news release. “We are dedicated to creating memorable experiences for the community and look forward to extending the ‘Mullett Magic’ beyond our Sun Devil Athletic events, concerts, comedy and family shows to now include the Valley Suns.”

The Suns and Mercury established a partnership with Oak View Group’s food and beverage division, OVG Hospitality, last August “to redefine the overall fan experience” for Suns and Mercury games, concerts and live events. This was OVG’s first partnership with an NBA and WNBA venue in Footprint Center.

Musgrave is also a general manager for OVG.

The Suns had a fan online contest to name the G League team. With more than 12,000 entries, Valley Suns was a popular choice.

A random fan was selected as the winner to receive season tickets for the 2024-25 season.

The Suns haven’t had a G League team since the Northern Arizona Suns played four seasons with their final one in 2019-20 in Prescott Valley. The Suns sold the team to the Detroit Pistons as the franchise didn’t feel a need to have a G League squad.

"After an extensive internal review we determined that ownership and management of the Northern Arizona Suns does not align with the Phoenix Suns’ strategic plan for player development over the next three-to-five years," said Suns general manager James Jones in a statement back in 2020.

Suns owner Mat Ishbia speaks with the press during a news conference at Footprint Center in Phoenix on May 1, 2024.
Suns owner Mat Ishbia speaks with the press during a news conference at Footprint Center in Phoenix on May 1, 2024.

This was with Robert Sarver as the Suns team owner. Mat Ishbia bought the Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury for a record $4 billion in February 2023 and looked to bring back a G League team.

Phoenix was the only NBA franchise without a G League team.

“Not only will this allow us to develop young players within our winning culture, but also will serve as an opportunity to expand our reach and connect with even more basketball fans across the region,” Ishbia said last July in a statement. “This investment further strengthens our connection with the community and continues to elevate Phoenix as the epicenter of basketball.”

The two main steps for an NBA team to acquire a G League team are to agree to own and operate a G League team and have a lease agreement with an arena that meets league standards like the right number of locker rooms, approved ceiling clearance and available dates for games.

There isn’t a designated number of seats an arena must have to play a G League game, but the games must be played on a regulation court. The arena must also have the infrastructure to have scoreboards.

Have opinions about the current state of the Suns? Reach Suns Insider Duane Rankin at or contact him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, at @DuaneRankin.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Suns name G League team, home arena for inaugural 2024-25 season