New Arizona Venue Names Showcase Economic Benefit of Tribal Gaming

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New article by Benefiting Arizona highlights recent name changes among Arizona’s premier sports and entertainment venues as a testament to the beneficial impact of Tribal Gaming.

Gila River Arena

Gila River Arena

The next time you attend a concert at Ak-Chin Pavilion, catch a hockey game at Gila River Arena, or go to a Suns game at Talking Stick Resort Arena, take a moment to marvel at the economic ecosystem built through Tribal Gaming.

Over the last two years, 3 of the major event venues in the Phoenix metro area have changed names, all of them to those with Native American ties, according to a recent article by Benefiting Arizona. In June 2013, the 20,000-person capacity, open-air Desert Sky Pavilion became Ak-Chin Pavilion, celebrating the Community and its Arizona heritage. Then in September 2014, what was Jobing.com Arena became Gila River Arena, marking "the first federally recognized tribal naming rights deal with a sports venue that houses one of the four major professional sports leagues in the country.” The Gila River Indian Community owns three major casinos on tribal land in the Phoenix metro area and the agreement offers a marquis opportunity to promote its properties. Most recently, the home of the Phoenix Suns, the local NBA franchise, became Talking Stick Resort Arena, promoting the premier entertainment destination on Salt-River Pima-Maricopa tribal lands, just outside of Scottsdale. All 3 of these venue naming rights agreements are a testament to the impact Tribal Gaming has had on the tribes and surrounding communities.

Arizona has the second highest total Native American population in the United States, with 6.6% of Arizona’s population of Native American ancestry and 21 recognized tribes. For generations, the native people of Arizona struggled to overcome geographic isolation and limited economic opportunities.

Tribal Gaming changed all of that. As Tribal Casinos were built and expanded across the state, economic growth was the result. Local businesses began to grow in support of this burgeoning industry, tribal economies began to diversify, and Arizona’s tribes became increasingly self-reliant. Not only did the tribes benefit, but through the Arizona Benefits Fund, Tribal Gaming has given back over $1 billion to the State of Arizona to date, with those revenues dedicated to supporting education, healthcare, tourism, conservation, and more.

Today, Arizona’s tribal communities celebrate a strong community culture and commitment to remain self-reliant, while increasing the diversity of their economic sectors. Arizona’s premier sports and entertainment venues stand as monuments to the success of these efforts and the beneficial impact Tribal Gaming has on consumers, tribal members, and all Arizonans. The next time you attend a concert at Ak-Chin Pavilion, catch a hockey game at Gila River Arena, or go to a Suns game at Talking Stick Resort Arena, take a moment to marvel at the economic ecosystem built through Tribal Gaming.

To read the article in its entirety, visit http://benefitingarizona.org/new-arizona-venue-names-showcase-economic-benefit-of-tribal-gaming/

About Benefiting Arizona
Benefiting Arizona is a grass roots organization of individuals, businesses, Tribes, not-for-profit, and for-profit organizations who support the many benefits experienced by the people of Arizona as a result of the current government-to-government gaming compacts that Tribes in Arizona have entered into with the State. For more information, visit BenefitingArizona.org.

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Marco Ceglie
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