PHOENIX (FOX 10) - Since their first season in 1997, the Phoenix Mercury has been playing at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Downtown Phoenix, but things are going to change next season for the WNBA team.
The new venue will be very familiar to longtime Valley sports fans. For the first time since 1992, basketball is returning to Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and the Mercury will play at the venue this season.
Team officials announced their return to the coliseum Wednesday morning, where they will play preseason, regular and playoff home games during the 2020 season. Mercury's relocation will include interior updates and investments to the facility, including a high definition video board, scoreboard, upgraded lighting and sound systems. and improved seating.
The team hopes this new arena change will bring in new and old fans alike.
"The Mercury are excited to revive the Madhouse on McDowell," said Jim Pitman, General Manager of the Phoenix Mercury. "One of basketball's loudest buildings and most intimate fan experiences, with the fans virtually right on top of the action combined with the amenities, we are confident we are confident in the home-court advantage that awaits."
The Veterans Memorial Coliseum used to be the home of the Phoenix Suns from 1968 to 1992. This change in location is happening as Talking Stick Arena undergoes its renovations. In January, the city approved a multimillion-dollar renovation proposal that will involve updating the infrastructure, technology and comfort at the arena.
The team's manager said it was very important for them to stay right here in town during the renovation. Meanwhile, some fans are looking forward to watching some basketball at the historic spot again.
"Very cool, and I am very happy for the Mercury," said Jeff Munn, who was a Phoenix Suns announcer. He announced the last year the Suns played at the Coliseum in 1992. He said there's a reason the Coliseum is called the Madhouse on McDowell.
"You got 12,000 to 14,000 people packed in there, all screaming at the top of their lungs," said Munn. "It was pretty awesome. It rattles your nerves."