With Phoenix slated to host its fourth Super Bowl this Sunday, the city’s lone winter sports team has been out of town for the festivities.
The Phoenix Suns are in the midst of a five-game, 10-day road trip that has seen them beat Boston and Detroit to improve to 29-26 for the year. Next up, the Monty Williams-coached club heads to play Brooklyn, Atlanta and Indiana between Tuesday and Friday, before returning to Footprint Center to host Sacramento on Valentine’s Day.
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The Suns’ road trip hasn’t hurt the team’s title chances, with oddsmakers at BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona listing the franchise at +1600 to win a championship (ranking ninth in the NBA) and at +750 to win the Western Conference (good for sixth out of 15 teams).
Dan Costello, who serves as the Suns executive vice president and chief revenue officer, says the Super Bowl road trip is more than worthwhile in the grand scheme of things. With Arizona sports betting nearly 18 months old, the state becomes the first Super Bowl host with legal wagering.
“I think for us, our venue is obviously focused on basketball (between the Suns and Mercury), but we also host a lot of concerts and events,” Costello told BetArizona.com. “We obviously wanted to partner with the region and provide economic opportunity in the marketplace.”
One of those economic opportunities will be through the 17 Arizona sports betting apps taking wagers.
Teamwork Makes the Big Game Work
Costello said the Suns organization is excited to host a number of Super Bowl LVII week-of events, such as Monday’s Opening Night and the Super Bowl Music Fest that runs from Thursday through Saturday, with performances from artists like Paramore, Dave Matthews Band and Imagine Dragons.
The longtime Suns front office member added the franchise isn’t worried about balancing out its home and away contests, as the NBA does a good job of ensuring fair time for each franchise.
More so, Costello is excited to see how the Super Bowl’s biggest events look on the stage of the downtown arena, showcasing the facility’s $240 million renovation that concluded last year. The arena now includes the FanDuel Sportsbook Arizona retail location.
“Our players will come back on Friday and have a chance to see some of the activations that are happening here as well,” Costello said.
A City Built For The Big Game
Costello believes the Phoenix area is as well positioned as any to pull off so-called “mega events,” such as the Super Bowl.
He highlighted the fact the Valley is hosting two such events in Super Bowl LVII and the 2023 Waste Management Phoenix Open at the same time as proof of the region’s unique commitment to sports and its bountiful infrastructure to support such activities.
“It just continues to highlight how the Phoenix market is really focused on sports,” Costello said. “We’ve got 13 Spring Training venues, we've got all the Big Four (MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL, with the Coyotes playing in nearby Tempe) here; you've got NASCAR and the major golf event this weekend. I mean, Phoenix really is a sports town.”
When it comes to this week’s runup to the city’s fourth Super Bowl, Costello sees the Suns as serving an ambassador role for visitors, with Footprint Center serving as the backdrop for what’s sure to be a memorable moment in Arizona history.
That’s why Costello sees the Suns’ tradeoff of leaving town for 10 days during the Super Bowl in exchange for the overall benefit the event gives back to the region as one worth pursuing.
“I think our role here at the Phoenix Suns is to help welcome these fans. And, these large events encompass, obviously, a lot more than just the game on Sunday,” Costello said. “So, we're really excited to showcase our venues during Super Bowl week with a great lineup of concerts. It’s definitely an exciting opportunity for us.”