Arizona’s tribal-operated Gila River Hotels & Casino has announced a new partnership with National Basketball Association (NBA) team Phoenix Suns, and Women’s NBA (WNBA) team Phoenix Mercury.
The deal will see Gila River offer all-new amenities to fans of the teams, including Club Gila River, one of two new courtside properties at the Suns’ downtown Phoenix arena.
“With an extensive history as a leader in entertainment in the Valley and a shared commitment to supporting our communities, Gila River Hotels & Casino is an ideal partner for the next chapter of our storied franchise,” said Suns president & CEO Jason Rowley.
“Offering new amenities across both organizations, we’re excited to bring Gila River’s hospitable excellence and experiences to Suns and Mercury fans everywhere.”
Gila River will also introduce Suns and Mercury themed hotel rooms to its Wilde Horse Pass and Vee Quiva resorts, to be decorated with autographed memorabilia and design elements which mirror the arena. In addition, the operator will introduce team-branded table felts and gaming chips across its casino properties.
“The uniting of our two epic entertainment brands ensures both of our guests remarkable experiences, offerings and connection. Suns and Mercury fans will be welcomed with custom fanatic guest rooms, branded table felts and branded gaming chips – the first in the NBA,” said Dominic Orozco, chief strategic marketing officer of Gila River.
“As our organization grows, we are honored to have a partner with shared values and celebrated principles. Gila River Hotels & Casinos’ and Gila River Indian Community’s love for sports, and the Valley, certifies our synergy and will be a win for Arizona and beyond.”
A bill to legalize land-based sports wagering at tribal casinos and bars in Arizona was reintroduced to the state’s Senate in February this year, and would allow for retail sportsbooks but not for online or mobile wagering in the state.
Legislative delays caused by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic have left sports betting out of the limelight in the state throughout this year, and the industry is still waiting to see action on signing a sports betting bill into law.