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Phoenix Suns ring of honor being reimagined, will debut in 2023 home opener

Goodbye pixeled ROH, hello to something epic!

Bucks v Suns Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

You can spend millions of dollars on something and still get it wrong. The question is whether or not you are willing to admit that, despite the investment, you made the wrong choice. The Phoenix Suns did just that when they renovated the Footprint Center in 2020. Spending $230 million, they made numerous additions that benefited the fan experience and modernized the arena that originally opened in 1992. But one thing that they missed on, and it was obvious right from the start, was how they honored those who had previously played for the organization.

The first jersey number to be retired by the Suns' was that of Connie Hawkins, and the team did so on November 19, 1976. It wasn’t until April of 1999 that the team created the Ring of Honor, which has been a tool to pay homage to the past players, coaches, and announcers who contributed throughout the 55-year history of the organization.

When the renovation occurred, gone were the honorary placards that surrounded the interior of the arena. And its place? A digital video board with 360° coverage throughout the arena. Yes, at times it would display the Ring of Honor like it did before, but only when advertisements weren’t hogging the pixels.

That will change when the season opens next home opener on October 28.

In a statement from the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday:

The Phoenix Suns today announced plans to unveil permanent banners and murals as part of a reimagined Ring of Honor to celebrate the most prominent figures in team history who have made an enduring impact on the organization, community and fans. The new banners will be unveiled during a halftime ceremony as part of the team’s home opener on Saturday, Oct. 28.

“The members of the Ring of Honor played a central role in creating the organization’s storied history and it was important that we honor them in a way that will always be on display,” said Mat Ishbia, owner of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury. “These legends helped define the Suns and are integral members of our family, connecting all generations of our fans throughout the past 55 years. The permanent banners and murals will serve as a constant tribute to their contributions to the team’s history and how they paved the way for the next era of Suns basketball.”

The banners commemorating the members of the Ring of Honor will be suspended from the rafters above the west sideline of the seating bowl. The uniform number and last name will be featured on the banners of the player inductees, while non players will have their years of tenure and last name displayed.

The Suns have commissioned local artists to create murals that capture the brilliance that the Ring of Honor members exhibited to Suns fans. The murals will be displayed on the walls of the upper level throughout the CarMax Concourse.

The 15 current members of the Ring of Honor that will have banners and murals unveiled are Alvan Adams, Charles Barkley, Tom Chambers, Jerry Colangelo, Walter Davis, Cotton Fitzsimmons, Connie Hawkins, Kevin Johnson, John MacLeod, Dan Majerle, Al McCoy, Steve Nash, Joe Proski, Dick Van Arsdale and Paul Westphal. As previously announced, the team will add two more banners for Shawn Marion and Amar’e Stoudemire as part of their official inductions this season.

Ring of Honor members and Suns alumni, including Marion and Stoudemire, will be in attendance to help unveil the new Ring of Honor banners on Oct. 28. Plans to celebrate the Mercury’s reimagined Ring of Honor will be announced in advance of the 2024 WNBA season.

Once again, similar to moving Suns’ basketball off of cable television, and onto local TV, this is another way to fortify the fan base. Whenever you go to the arena and for whatever event, the names of those who have impacted the Phoenix Suns organization will be visible. Young children will look up and see them, asking their parents who they were. The stories behind them will be provided in the fortification of the Phoenix Suns culture.

Mat Ishbia has done it once again.

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