On Friday an email was sent out to Arizona Rattlers season ticket holders stating.
“As you may have heard we will be relocating for the next two seasons, however, we are confident with the pricing changes and benefits we put in place you will be very happy.”
This seemed to come at a shock to some Rattlers fans who were not expecting this move to happen, however it seemed likely due to the Phoenix City Council approving a $230 million renovation to the Talking Stick Resort Arena.
The renovation will take place in the Suns off-season, which is the Rattlers and WNBA club Phoenix Mercury’s regular season, meaning both teams will need to move to a new facility for two seasons (2020/2021).
LWOS did reach out to the Arizona Rattlers for comment and as of publishing this piece we have not received comment from the club. So that brings us to speculation of where they could play for the next two years.
To strike out one place immediately is ASU’s Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, the facility is large enough but is expected to start renovations on the main arena and building an adjacent 5,000 seat hockey arena this fall.
The Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum is the first real option for the Rattlers, it’s fairly close (compared to other options) to downtown Phoenix and their current home. It also holds a good amount with a capacity of 13,730.
It comes with some massive drawbacks, however. First off it is massively outdated, being built in the 60’s and not truly renovated. The other is it hasn’t held a full time sports team (of this level) since the Phoenix Mustangs left after the 2000-01 season.
Grand Canyon University Arena was also mentioned by fans in their discussion about this, however that isn’t a realistic option as it only seats 7,000 for basketball and would require the removal of around 1,500 seats (similar to the CFE Arena when Orlando played a season there). This would mean only having 5,500 seats for a team that routinely draws double that.
Lastly is Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ. While it is not close to where the Rattlers currently play, and the Coyotes have issues with the building due to it’s location and want to leave it, this is the most possible option of where the Rattlers end up.
It has a high capacity (17,125 for hockey), is a newer arena, and also has experience hosting the Rattlers as they played ArenaBowl XXIX there.
We’ll keep you updated at LWOS on more details as this story progresses.