Nearly a decade before James Naismith introduced us to the sport of basketball and before Phoenix was placed on any map, the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and the Pee Posh (Maricopa) tribes joined in unity for the greater good of their communities. Together, two tribes became one, establishing the Gila River Indian Community.
Since that pivotal partnership in the mid-1800s, the “People of the River” have remained true to their community’s commitment to the arts, culture and crafts, ultimately leading to the birth of Gila River Hotels & Casinos as a leading destination for entertainment in the Valley.
A new chapter begins today – a union between Gila River Hotels & Casinos and the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury that will bring all-new amenities to consumers across the Valley and elevate sports and entertainment in the region for years to come.
The two brands share rich histories, strong cultures, commitments to community, and a high regard for hospitable excellence. This new collaboration creates many firsts for each organization, and notably, firsts for the National Basketball Association.
Club Gila River, one of two new courtside properties, brings the exclusive casino partner’s luxury atmosphere to the Suns’ transformed arena. Fans entering the more than 4,000 sq. ft. club will be greeted with all-inclusive food from chef-attended stations, hand-crafted cocktails and beverages, and made-to-order pizza – all a few steps from their seats.
“With an extensive history as a leader in entertainment in the Valley and a shared commitment to supporting our communities, Gila River Hotels & Casino is an ideal partner for the next chapter of our storied franchise,” said Suns President & CEO Jason Rowley. “Offering new amenities across both organizations, we’re excited to bring Gila River’s hospitable excellence and experiences to Suns and Mercury fans everywhere.”
Beyond the hardwood at 201 E Jefferson Street, Suns and Mercury themed hotel rooms at Gila River’s Wild Horse Pass (Suns) and Vee Quiva (Mercury) resorts will be adorned with autographed memorabilia and design elements mirroring the downtown arena – guests will be immersed in their favorite Valley teams from sunrise to sunset during their stay.
An NBA-first, Gila River Hotels and Casinos will introduce an all-new collection of gaming chips and table felts donned with the iconic Phoenix Suns sunburst and Phoenix Mercury planet logo across all properties: Wild Horse Pass, Vee Quiva and Lone Butte.
“The uniting of our two epic entertainment brands ensures both of our guests remarkable experiences, offerings and connection. Suns and Mercury fans will be welcomed with custom fanatic guest rooms, branded table felts and branded gaming chips- the first in the NBA,” said Dominic Orozco, Chief Strategic Marketing Officer. “As our organization grows, we are honored to have a partner with shared values and celebrated principles. Gila River Hotels & Casinos and Gila River Indian Community’s love for sports, and the Valley, certifies our synergy will be a win for Arizona and beyond.”
The partnership is also beneficial to the Gila River Indian Community. The Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury will host several initiatives all season long for community members including youth basketball clinics for children, pre-game on-court recognitions, a college mentorship program, player appearances and many other community events.
With the Suns on the rise, the Mercury chasing its fourth WNBA championship and the arena transformation well underway, the partnership with Gila River Hotels and Casinos promises to make the Valley a preeminent destination for sports and entertainment.