The Phoenix Mercury will play their 2020 home games at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the former home of the Phoenix Suns, the team announced Wednesday. (Watch the announcement here.)
The Mercury have played at Talking Stick Resort Arena since they began play in 1997. That arena will soon undergo renovations as part of a $230 million plan approved by the Phoenix City Council in January.
The Suns played at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, located at 1826 W McDowell Rd. in Phoenix, beginning in 1968 (their inaugural season) and through 1992, until they moved into what is now known as Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix. A number of other teams, including multiple versions of the Phoenix Roadrunners hockey team, played at the Coliseum. Portions of the Arizona State Fair are still held inside the Coliseum.
Veterans Memorial Coliseum's seating capacity for basketball was about 14,500 during the Suns' final season of play there. The Coliseum is also known as the "Madhouse on McDowell."
“Returning to 'The Madhouse’ was absolutely the right move for our team and we are grateful to our ownership, management and the management of the Coliseum for making it possible,” Mercury CEO Vince Kozar said in a statement. “Staying centrally-located for our fans, and finding a home for games and practices that puts the least amount of stress on our players and staff was crucial. We will make the Coliseum feel like home and the X-Factor will make it feel like 'The Madhouse.'”
The Mercury plan to invest in a new scoreboard and HD videoboard at the Coliseum, along with improved lighting, sound systems and seats. The Mercury will also bring the Verizon Courtyard event-level fan area, which has been featured at games at Talking Stick Resort Arena since 2014. The team's championship and retired-player banners will be hung in the Coliseum rafters.
“I am personally excited that Phoenix District 4 families will be able to see live WNBA basketball right there in their own neighborhood and witness our three-time champs play with a brand of athleticism that inspires and amazes all of us," Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said in a statement.