SBD/Issue 19/Events & Attractions

Officials Hope NBA Will Make Outdoor Game An Annual Event

At Least Seven Teams Have Expressed
Interest In Playing Suns In Outdoor Game
Officials involved with Saturday's Warriors-Suns outdoor exhibition at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden are "optimistic the NBA will make" the game an annual event, according to Mariecar Mendoza of the Palm Springs DESERT SUN. Suns President & CEO Rick Welts said that since last year's inaugural event "at least seven NBA teams have expressed interest in playing the Suns" at the facility. Welts: "This is the only place in the country, in my mind, that the combination of the weather and the facility makes for a first-class event." Indian Wells COO Steve Simon said that as of yesterday, "12,000 tickets had been sold" for the game at the 16,100-seat venue, and noted that "considering the economic climate, it's not a bad number." Welts said that he "wouldn't be surprised if the event falls just short of a sellout." But he added, "I hope we'll be pleasantly surprised." Suns investor Richard Heckmann said that last year's sold-out game between the Suns and Nuggets "injected more than" $4M into the Coachella Valley economy. Mendoza notes organizers this year "expect to come close to that figure and hope that choosing the Warriors will help achieve that goal" (Palm Springs DESERT SUN, 10/8).

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