The Northern Arizona Suns are leaving Prescott Valley, a press release stated Tuesday night.
NAZ Suns public affairs advisor Maria Baier stated in the press release that the decision to leave was made because of budget concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team will relocate down to the Valley to share resources with the Phoenix Suns in an effort to alleviate expenses.
“As you might imagine, the impact that the global pandemic has had on the sports and entertainment industry has forced our organization to evaluate how we manage our business including the streamlining of operations," Baier stated in the release. "One aspect of a reorganization requires us to move the Northern Arizona Suns from Prescott and the Prescott Valley Event Center. Sadly, when the 2020‐21 G‐League season tips off, the team will be playing at a location, to be determined, in the Phoenix metro area, allowing us to share efficiencies and resources with the rest of the Suns organization."
Even though the NAZ Suns were in Prescott Valley for a short stint, Prescott Valley mayor Kell Palguta called the G League franchise a core tenant -- but said the Findlay Toyota Center where the team was housed is looking toward the future.
He also alluded that the arena could see minor league hockey make a return.
“The goals and commitment of the arena staff will be to continue to put on great entertainment and events for our community," Palguta said. "We hope to have a long‐term tenant in place as soon as the opportunity presents itself, perhaps even another minor league hockey team."
The NAZ Suns move takes another low-level or minor league pro sports team away from Prescott Valley, as the Findlay Toyota Center used to house the Arizona Sundogs -- a minor league hockey team that had ties to the Arizona Coyotes.
The Suns came to Prescott Valley in 2016 after they were the Bakersfield Jam for 10 years.
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