PHOENIX — The home of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury has a new name -- Footprint Center.
It is named after Footprint, an Arizona-based, plant-based technology and materials company that makes biodegradable and compostable packaging and is focused on eliminating one-time use and short-term use plastics.
The new name was announced at a Friday morning press conference.
"We're starting right now... so when our fans come to Game 5 tomorrow... they're going to see some Footprint signage," said Robert Sarver, owner of the Suns. He added that the bulk of the signage construction would happen during the off-season.
Previously known as Talking Stick Resort Arena, Talking Stick Resort and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community decided last year not to renew their contract to the naming rights to the arena. In the interim, the arena was referred to as PHX Suns Arena.
Past names also include U.S. Airways Center and America West Arena.
With the new name and partnership, the Suns leadership said the arena will transition to using Footprint's eco-friendly packaging, such as plates, utensils and coolers, and recycling solutions -- swapping out trash cans for compost bins -- and will also put up educational signage and materials about the economic impacts of single-use plastics.
"It was important to us to find a partner that could truly make a positive impact in our community and on the planet, and Footprint is a global leader that is also Arizona-based and therefore shares our commitment to the Valley," Sarver said in a prepared statement.
"We have a unique opportunity with the Suns, Mercury and Real Mallorca to transform sports and entertainment experiences where fans can enjoy their food and drinks in sustainable packaging and learn more about how they can make changes in their daily lives to get rid of single-use plastics,” Footprint CEO Troy Swope said in a statement. “Together we’ll create a living innovation lab of new ideas for consumer feedback, new opportunities for our customers, and we can educate fans in a way that will create a ripple effect outside the arena. Today is just the beginning.”