Phoenix Suns Home Court Unavailable For Voting, But Coyotes Arena In Play
The NBA announced broad efforts to use basketball arenas as polling places for the November election, but the home court of the Phoenix Suns won’t be among them.
The league responded to NBA player protests, which halted playoff games for three days, by announcing the creation of a social justice coalition and efforts to get out the vote.
“In every city where the league franchise owns and controls the arena property, team governors will continue to work with local elections officials to convert the facility into a voting location for the 2020 general election to allow for a safe in-person voting option for communities vulnerable to COVID,” according to a joint statement from the NBA and NBA Players Association.
But Talking Stick Resort Arena, the home of the Suns, is owned by the city of Phoenix, not the franchise.
And the arena is currently closed for renovations.
“Due to a combination of construction and subsequent certificate of occupancy it’s impossible to plan for the arena as a viable polling location in November,” Dean Stoyer, the Suns chief marketing officer, wrote in an email.
The Maricopa County Elections Department had already identified another major league facility as a potential voting site: Gila River Arena, home of the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale.
Spokesperson Erika Flores said nothing is finalized, but the county has sought to identify larger-than-usual facilities to accommodate voting during the pandemic.
“Partnering with retail facilities, malls, convention centers and other large locations is an important part of ensuring Maricopa County voters have accessible and safe in-person voting options throughout the county,” Flores said in a statement.