Suns News

It’s Official: US Airways Center

Suns Chairman Jerry Colangelo discusses the conversion from America West Arena to US Airways Center.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE Photos)
Posted: Jan. 6, 2006

After 13 years of countless memories as America West Arena, and months of conversion effort, the US Airways Center will officially open its doors at tonight’s Phoenix Suns/Miami Heat game.

From interior and exterior building signage to concession materials, advertising and promotional collateral to the Suns and Phoenix Mercury courts, guests can’t miss the new name as the US Airways Center logo is incorporated throughout the venue.

The new name of the venue was announced in November 2005 along with the finalization of a 10-year naming rights agreement, which followed the merger between America West Airlines and US Airways, completed September 27, 2005.

“Branding this venue with a new name, US Airways Center, is very fitting considering that the building has undergone a complete transformation over the past few years, providing for an enhanced entertainment experience for our guests,” said Suns Chairman and CEO Jerry Colangelo. “Our partnership with US Airways reflects a commitment to remain at the forefront of sports and entertainment venues on a national level.”

The US Airways Center recently completed a major $70 million expansion and improvement project. Gone is the block exterior, replaced with soaring glass walls. The outdoor ticket office is now enclosed inside the new 14,000 square foot Casino Arizona Pavilion, serving as a grand entrance highlighted by a 12 x 20 foot video wall. On the east side, the Bud Light Paseo is a flexible outdoor entertainment venue covered by a football field-length canopy featuring state-of-the-art sound and video projection systems, as well as the stylish Bud Light bar area and facilities that double as television studio facilities for Suns telecasts and a performance stage for music events. Other improvements include new technology installed in the bowl including a 900-foot LED ribbon, a center-hung scoreboard with HDTV screens, a new sound system, a new Courtside Club, Lexus Club and B Lounge nightclub. At street level the US Airways Center now features a Starbucks, expanded Team Shop and il Palazzetto, a Levy Brothers restaurant featuring fine Italian cuisine.

“Since its inception in 1992, America West Arena has been a great source of pride to employees our airline and now a much larger employee base can see US Airways’ commitment to the Phoenix community and the Suns organization,” said US Airways CEO Doug Parker. “As the hometown airline of Phoenix, we are excited that the US Airways Center will be both a symbol of our future and a tribute to the proud history of our airline.”

The US Airways Center is owned by the City of Phoenix and managed by a subsidiary of Suns Legacy Partners, owners of the Suns (NBA), Mercury (WNBA) and the Phoenix Roadrunners) hockey team (ECHL). The 19,000-seat, award-winning venue hosts 200 events a year including the Arizona Rattlers (AFL), concerts, the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney ice shows, other family shows, sporting events, and conventions. More than two million guests attend events at the Center annually.

US Airways and America West Airlines recently merged to create the fifth largest domestic airline, employing nearly 38,000 aviation professionals. US Airways, US Airways Shuttle and the US Airways Express operate approximately 4,000 flights per day and serve more than 225 communities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. This press release and additional information on US Airways can be found at usairways.com.