Ice Hockey Wiki
Talking Stick Resort Arena
The Purple Palace, The Snake Pit
US Airways Center satellite view.png
Location 201 East Jefferson, Phoenix, Arizona 85004
Opened June 1, 1992
Owner The City of Phoenix
Operator Phoenix Arena Development, L.P.
Construction cost $90 million
Architect Ellerbe Becket
Former names US Airways Arena and (2006-2015) America West Arena (1992–2005)
Tenants Phoenix Suns (National Basketball Association]) (1992–present)
Arizona Rattlers (Arena Football League (1992–present)
Arizona Sandsharks (Continental Indoor Soccer League]) (1993–1997)
Phoenix Coyotes (NHL) (1996–2003)
Phoenix Mercury (Women's National Basketball Association) (1997–present)
Phoenix RoadRunners (ECHL) (2005–2009)
Capacity Basketball: 18,422
Ice hockey: 16,210

US Airways Center night

US Airways Center inside

Talking Stick Resort Arena (formerly US Airways Center and America West Arena) is a sports and entertainment arena located in Phoenix, Arizona. It opened in 1992, and is the home of the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association, the Phoenix Mercury of the Women's National Basketball Association, the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League, Phoenix Roadrunners of the ECHL, and the Arizona Sandsharks of the Continental Indoor Soccer League.

The arena, which is situated near Chase Field, is named after its sponsor, US Airways. After America West's merger with US Airways, it was announced that America West Arena would be renamed to US Airways Center on November 14, 2005 with the name change taking place in January 2006. In 2014, with US Airways about to merged into American Airlines, Scottsdale-based Talking Stick Resort bought the naming rights.

Sports teams and events

Basketball, arena football, and ice hockey are all played at the Center, in addition to concerts, professional wrestling, ice shows, and other events.

The Phoenix Coyotes of the NHL once called the US Airways Center home, starting with their move to Phoenix in 1996, and up until 2003, when they moved to Arena (formerly Glendale Arena), which was more suited for NHL hockey. It was also the home of the indoor soccer team Arizona Sandsharks of the Continental Indoor Soccer League.

Its most common nickname is "The Purple Palace," though during the Rattlers' season it is known as "the Snake Pit."


Construction of this arena began in 1988, as Suns owner Jerry Colangelo envisioned a need for a new playing facility to replace Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum. In 1992, the new arena was officially inaugurated with a 111-105 Suns win over the Los Angeles Clippers. After the Suns lost the NBA championship series that year, a parade that attracted more than 300,000 Suns fans made its way through downtown and finished at the new arena.

NHL years

When the Winnipeg Jets NHL franchise announced their intention to move to Phoenix as the Coyotes for the 1996-97 season, the arena was quickly reconfigured for hockey. Unlike most multipurpose arenas, America West Arena's sightlines were not designed with a hockey rink in mind. While its tight seating configuration suits basketball very well, it made it difficult to fit a standard NHL rink onto the floor. The lower level had to be sheared in half to fit the rink and create retractable seating.

As it turned out, the result was completely inadequate for the Coyotes. Most notably, a section of seats in the upper level actually hung over the boards, obstructing the view from over 3,000 seats. In those areas, a good chunk of the view from beyond the top of the face-off circle was cut off. The problem was so serious that after the team's first season in Phoenix, the team had to curtain off some seats in the areas where the view was particularly obstructed, cutting listed capacity from over 18,000 seats to just over 16,000.

The Coyotes added a second video board in an area where the view was particularly obstructed, and also put up numerous proposals to improve sight lines in order to boost capacity back over the 17,000 mark. They also had to sell many obstructed-view tickets at a reduced price. In addition, an unfavorable lease caused further financial troubles from which the franchise has never recovered. The Coyotes moved into an arena of their own, Arena located in suburban Glendale for the 2003–04 NHL season.

External links

Preceded by
Winnipeg Arena
Home of the
Phoenix Coyotes

1996 – 2003
Succeeded by Arena