The Madhouse is back.
Suns President and CEO Jason Rowley released a statement on Tuesday afternoon announcing that if and when the 2019-20 NBA season resumes after the suspension caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the team will play at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
“The enhancements that were already in process to prepare the Coliseum for the Phoenix Mercury to play their 2020 WNBA season in that facility, due to the major renovations at Talking Stick Resort Arena this summer, have also been accelerated for the Suns’ potential return,” Rowley said in the statement.
You might remember the Coliseum more aptly as the Madhouse on McDowell, the home of many great Suns battles from 1968 to 1992. The team is working to install a “high-definition video board, a scoreboard, upgraded lighting and sound systems, and updates to the locker room and related team facilities” to modernize the building.
The Mercury were already expecting to play in the building, as Rowley noted, and the WNBA season is tentatively scheduled to begin May 17. That date is clearly in jeopardy due to the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 (though the WNBA will go forward with a virtual draft on April 17).
One other potential option should some portion of the NBA and WNBA seasons overlap would be to use Desert Financial Arena (formerly Wells Fargo Arena), where the Arizona State men’s and women’s basketball teams play.
It’s hard to sift through any information right now considering so much about the next couple of months is up in the air, but the fact that the Suns are making a backup plan for regular-season games indicates they, like many in the league reportedly, believe the NBA season will resume in some form this summer.