After COVID-19 hurts Arizona's economy, Phoenix Suns playoff run helps revive it

After the NBA Finals is all said and done, the impact of the Phoenix Suns playoffs run has made a huge financial impact, says small businesses owners and tourism experts.

The Super Bowl always brings in big money, when March Madness is in the Valley, that’s a moneymaker, too.

Since the Phoenix Suns played Western Conference Finals and NBA Finals games in the Valley, they helped to bring in lots of businesses to nearly bars and restaurants.

Only an NBA trophy would have made this a better month for PHX Beer Co.

As the Suns took the Finals to Game 6 in Milwaukee, fans lined the streets in Phoenix, watching the game at restaurants, bars and breweries.

"A lot of fun, a lot of excitement. Wish the game turned out differently last night but we just love to see how we were able to get things going here and able to capitalize on it," said Adam Wojcik, PHX Beer Co. Brewery Director.

And it's about time business was brought back.

The COVID-19 crushed some businesses and left others wondering how they were going to make it another day. So the economics of great basketball in the Valley couldn’t have come at a better time.

"It got everyone excited about the Suns. It got people trying new restaurants, new breweries, whatever business supported the Suns at this time and it was a big lift from an economic standpoint," Wojcik said.

Joshua Coddington with the Arizona Office of Tourism says this playoff run couldn't have come at a better time.

"The Suns earning a spot at the center of the sports universe really couldn’t have come at a better time for Arizona's recovery in tourism," he said.

It’s too soon to calculate how much money was pumped into the Valley's economy because of this Suns run, but Coddington says we're talking millions of dollars.

"We certainly can’t thank the Suns enough for earning this for us. Because having games here in Arizona brings visitors, but it also brings Arizonans into downtown and there’s no doubt that those restaurants and businesses really appreciate and need that support right now," Coddington said.

Phoenix Beer Co. is doing so well now that they sold out of their Shazam Brew in just 12 hours. Just another sign of the success the Suns gave to downtown businesses.

"We have a ton of new faces coming in now so that was a huge bonus for us and really exciting," Wojcik said.

How important are things like this are to the Valley economy? Coddington says 5% of overnight visitors in the last few years have come for sporting events.

That’s above the national average of 3%.

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