The Phoenix Suns could play games at the Madhouse on McDowell

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Caitlin O'Hara/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Caitlin O'Hara/Getty Images) /

Between the hiatus and the arena renovation, the Phoenix Suns are cutting things close. It could require them to play in their old stomping grounds, the Madhouse on McDowell.

No one knows exactly when or if the NBA will resume the 2019-2020 season. As of now, Commissioner Adam Silver is set to reevaluate the situation after 30 days. One of the possibilities being discussed is to pick up the season where it left off and play further into the summer. If this happens, it will put Phoenix Suns in a peculiar predicament.

If you’ve never been part of a construction project, then stay that way. Don’t ever change. Don’t get the notion that because the Property Brothers can renovate a dated shanty into a mid-century modern retreat during the course of an hour TV show and supposedly five to six weeks of real-time that this process is the norm.

It isn’t. It is far from it.

Here is the general rule: Whatever price the contractor gives you for a major construction job, add 50 percent. Whatever timeline they give you, double it.

I’m not going to venture into the price of Project 201. That is between the Suns and the City. Everyone says it will cost $230 million so we’ll go with that.

However, I know the plan is to complete the Talking Stick Resort Arena renovation by the beginning of next season with the plan to start as early as late-April after the season was scheduled to end.

That would give the construction crew six months to complete a $230 million renovation. Call me cynical for laughing at the feasibility of such a feat, but I call my self realistic.

Now, enter COVID-19 and the NBA hiatus.

If games do pick back up where they left off, then that would push the season further into summer, which in turn, would delay the start of Talking Stick’s renovation.

Unless, of course, the Phoenix Suns hosted their home games somewhere else. Somewhere like the Phoenix Mercury plan to play their WNBA home games.

Somewhere like the Madhouse on McDowell.

Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where the Suns played from their inaugural season in 1968 up until they relocated to their current arena (then called American West Arena) in 1992, is a venue of legends.

The Suns released a video look-back of the Colosseum playing days and it features quotes that capture the atmosphere. Tom Chambers said:

"“It wasn’t glamorous or anything, but it was blue-collar, go-to-work, loud, and just awesome. Absolutely awesome.”"

One of the nicest parts about the Madhouse is just how not nice it is. It’s old. Smelly. The ceiling is low. And according to Eddie Johnson, you never knew what kind of critter might run into your gym bag.

The Phoenix Suns played an exhibition game there in 2015 to commemorate its 50 years in existence. Now they have a chance to play there again for real.

A few scenarios:

  • If games pick back up where they left off and play into the summer:
    • They play the games at TSRA, therefore, delaying the construction, therefore games next season start at the Madhouse until construction completes
    • They play games from this season at the Madhouse so that construction starts on time.
  • Games are canceled for the season, but construction is delayed due to COVID-19:
    • They play games at the Madhouse next season until construction completes.
  • Construction is delayed because all construction is always delayed:
    • They play games at the Madhouse next season until construction completes.

So you see, there are several situations that could lead to the Phoenix Suns reviving the glory days of Veterans Memorial Colosseum. Maybe playing in such an ancient structure will give these players even more appreciation for playing in the renovated arena.

It would be like staying in a run-down hostile before jumping up into a Ritz.

If the Phoenix Suns do end up playing a game or more there, I fully expect every fan to dress like fans did in the ’80s. I need to see big hair, swoosh pants, coke bottle glasses, the works.

The Suns should hire Dan Majerle as an assistant. dark. Next

We can’t let an opportunity like this, should it arise, go to waste.