Suns, Mercury owner announces WNBA All-Star Game coming to Phoenix in 2024
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Just days after the Phoenix Suns and Mercury announced a partnership with Arizona’s Family, owner Mat Ishbia made another breaking announcement — the WNBA All-Star game will be coming to the Valley of the Sun next year! Ishbia talked one-on-one with Arizona’s Family sports reporter Julia Lopez on Saturday morning.
The game will bring the best of women’s basketball talent to the Valley, along with plenty of WNBA fans from all over the country. Ishbia said he believes Phoenix is the “hub of basketball in America.” “Getting to the WNBA All-Star Game here in Phoenix, it’s going to just be amazing next year. It’s not like we have to wait five years. It’s literally next year to showcase the women’s game and showcase the Valley. Show the fans we have, the amazing community we have. Help the restaurant owners and the hotels. We’re going to bring energy and excitement to the Valley, and it’s coming soon,” he said.
He also had high praise for hometown Mercury star Brittney Griner following her release from a Russian prison. Ishbia was in attendance at the Mercury game in Las Vegas on Saturday night to cheer on Griner and the team. “To see what she’s been through and with a great attitude, and great energy the positive attitude, she’s an amazing person. Of course, she’s a superstar basketball player too, and so I’m excited to be here and support her and hopefully all of the Mercury fans will be excited to support her as well. She’s an amazing person and player,” he said.
Arizona’s Family will be the local broadcasting partner with the Suns and Mercury and provide non-nationally televised games to viewers for free on television stations KTVK (3TV) and the newly launched KPHE (Arizona’s Family Sports). Earlier this year, the Phoenix Mercury announced a new media rights deal with Gray Television to carry the team’s games on 3TV (KTVK) and Arizona’s Family Sports Network (KPHE). The Suns will have a minimum of 70 games broadcast, with at least 40 regular-season games on KTVK and the remaining on KPHE.
Ishbia said he’s excited about what the deal means for fans who may not be able to watch the games currently. “I think we have a lot of fans, but you know, sometimes fans can’t see the content they can’t see the games. They’re watching it, with highlights and stuff, but now they can actually watch the game,” he said. “We’ve got a great team; we’re looking forward to showing off what we’ve got and building our fan base. But also sharing the community all the way through the whole state, not just for Phoenix. The Phoenix Suns are for all of Arizona and we’re making it available for everybody.”
As for the Suns, Ishbia believes the team has what it takes to win it all this upcoming season! “We’ve got so many great players that have won in different ways; we have no egos. From Brad Beal, a new player we’ve got, and of course Devin Booker, the superstar Kevin Durant, the superstar DeAndre Ayton, up and coming, we’ve got a lot of great guys,” he said.
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