Indian Wells could host Suns preseason game come fall

Updated: January 25, 2008, 3:10 PM ET
Associated Press

At parks and in driveways across the country, basketball is played outdoors under the lights.

So why not let the pros play an NBA game in the great outdoors, too?

The Phoenix Suns are planning to play the NBA's first outdoor game during next year's preseason at the Indian Wells (Calif.) Tennis Garden, Suns president and CEO Rick Welts said, according to the Arizona Republic.

The idea is far enough along that the Suns have laid out a basketball court at the outdoor tennis stadium, and team general manager Steve Kerr has visited the site, according to the report. While some details need to be ironed out, an official announcement could be made in a month, the newspaper reported.

According to the report, Suns part-owner Dick Heckmann, who lives in the Palm Springs, Calif., area, got the idea from a local parks manager and passed it along to Welts.

"It's a completely unique experience," Welts said, according to the Republic. "We like to do new and exciting things. I think it would be remarkably successful."

Indian Wells has a capacity of 16,100 and features loge seating and 44 suites, but no roof. The Suns would need to provide the playing floor, scoreboard and video boards for the event, according to the report.

"It's going to be incredibly cool," Welts predicted, according to the Republic.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press