Suns to Play 2008-09 Preseason Game Outdoors

Posted: February 19, 2008

The NBA’s first outdoor game of the modern era will take place when the Phoenix Suns host the Denver Nuggets in a preseason game on Saturday, October 11 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, CA. The 16,000-seat stadium is an NBA-style arena with no roof located in a spectacular desert setting. The venue annually plays host to one of the world’s major tennis tournaments, the Pacific Life Open.

“The Suns and the Nuggets are truly excited to bring NBA basketball to Indian Wells in what promises to be the most picturesque setting for an NBA game in league history – outdoors in one of the most beautiful locations imaginable,” said Suns’ President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts. “It will be unique, fun and memorable for fans and the teams alike.”

The game will be televised nationally, exclusively on TNT.

“When something special happens in the NBA, fans know that TNT will be there to cover the event like no other network,” said David Levy, President of Turner Sports. “We are looking forward to providing a national television audience with a front row seat to this unique and historic game."

While the event will be historic, it will not be the first time an NBA game has been played outdoors. Over 35 years ago, the Phoenix Suns, played the only other NBA game to be played outdoors in Puerto Rico against the Milwaukee Bucks. Led by Connie Hawkins, Dick Van Arsdale and Neal Walk, the Suns defeated Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson and the Bucks, 116-103, in a preseason game on September 24, 1972 at a baseball stadium in San Juan.

Tickets will go on sale to the public next Saturday, February 23 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time on ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, and at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden box office. Prices range from $10 to $100. Fans from Phoenix who wish to attend the game can reach Indian Wells in less than a four-hour drive.

Southern California’s Santa Rosa Mountains provide a breathtaking backdrop to the 80-acre complex that will host the event. Discussions are underway for additional events that will make the game the centerpiece of a unique basketball celebration in the Coachella Valley which includes the communities of Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Indio and La Quinta.

“We’re proud that the Suns, Nuggets and the NBA recognized that Indian Wells Tennis Garden was a perfect facility to make this game a reality,” said Steve Simon, chief operating officer of the facility. “We expect this event to showcase our community and our venue to fans throughout the region who will attend, and those who will follow the game through the significant media coverage this game will generate.”

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