DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
Fans are invited to attend a free boot camp class at US Airways Center on Saturday.
The Phoenix Mercury and Rock Star Boot Camp are inviting fans to take their shot at boot camp on the main court at US Airways Center, when the club hosts a free Rock Star boot camp class on Saturday, September 8 from 9:30 – 10:15 a.m. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. Admission is free to the public.
Rock Star Boot Camp’s creator, Curtis Hoekstra, will take fans through an interval-based boot camp training system on the Phoenix Mercury’s main court.
“The Phoenix Mercury is committed to promoting active and healthy lifestyles,” said Amber Cox, Mercury President and COO. “We are thrilled to be teaming up with Rock Star Boot Camp to offer this free class to our fans and the community.”
Rock Star Boot Camp is the official boot camp of the Phoenix Mercury. For more information regarding their classes and locations log on to www.rockstarbootcamp.net.
Phoenix returns home on Wednesday, September 12 when it hosts the Connecticut Sun at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available by calling 602-252-WNBA or visiting phoenixmercury.com.
The Phoenix Mercury has announced the team schedule for its 15th season, set to tip off in Seattle on June 4, 2011.
Their first appearance at home at US Airways Center will be on Friday, June 17. Tickets are on sale now, with lower-bowl seats starting at just $10. Visit phoenixmercury.com for full details
2011 Mercury home games (all games at US Airways Center)
Friday, June 17: San Antonio Silver Stars, 7 p.m.
Sunday, June 19: Indiana Fever, 3 p.m.
Friday, July 1: Chicago Sky, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, July 5: Los Angeles Sparks, 6 p.m.
Sunday, July 10: Tulsa Shock, 3 p.m.
Friday, July 15: Washington Mystics, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, July 20: Minnesota Lynx, 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 26: Seattle Storm, 7 pm.
Sunday, August 7: Connecticut Sun, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, August 9: Minnesota Lynx, 7 p.m.
Thursday, August 11: Atlanta Dream, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, August 16: Seattle Storm, 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 20: San Antonio Silver Stars, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, August 23: New York Liberty, 7 p.m.
Saturday, September 3: Los Angeles Sparks, 7 p.m.
Thursday, September 8: Tulsa Shock, 7 p.m.
Sunday, September 11: Minnesota Lynx, 3 p.m.
What kind of entertainment in Downtown Phoenix is inexpensive, great for the whole family, gets you out of the heat and is something you may not have considered before, even though it has been around for more than 10 years? Give up?
A Phoenix Mercury basketball game.
The Mercury’s new Chief Operating Officer, Amber Cox, is hoping to reach out to the Downtown community and encourage residents to embrace the Phoenix Mercury as a part of their neighborhood and as a premier entertainment option.
“I think the Mercury has always been about great family entertainment at a really affordable price,” Cox says, adding that tickets for lower-level seats are only $10 each. “We have a great core fan base that’s been with us 13 or 14 years, but I think there are a lot people that live Downtown that haven’t selected the Mercury as something to do on a Friday or Saturday night.”
Cox, a Missouri native and former high school and college basketball player, moved to Arizona in late 2004 to join the Mercury staff after working as the assistant athletic director at Columbia College in Missouri for five years.
When she joined the Mercury, she started working as the director of marketing and promotions, a position she held for six years until she was recently promoted to Chief Operating Officer. As the COO, she is in charge of business operations, budgets, community relations and marketing, among other things.
Cox has played an essential role in driving ticket and sponsorship revenue by developing and implementing advertising, promotions and media plans. She also led marketing efforts for the Phoenix Roadrunners, the Valley’s former minor league hockey team, for three seasons from 2006 to 2009. She currently serves on the Phoenix Women’s Sports Association board of directors.
Although she has been in Arizona for several years, Cox has only lived in the Downtown area for about three years. She first lived in north Scottsdale and says she only ventured downtown for work, but now loves living here.
“When I made the move down here, I just started discovering all of the great restaurants, different coffeehouses; and I think once you move down here you want to see it flourish, you want to see it grow,” she says. “I think all of the progress that’s being made is really exciting for the city of Phoenix, and certainly for everybody that lives down here and works down here.”
Now Cox hopes that the Mercury become a bigger part of the growing Downtown community, which she says already does a great job supporting the Phoenix Suns and the Diamondbacks.
“We’d love to see more people give give (the Mercury) a try,” she says.
The Mercury play at US Airways Center (light rail stations at 3rd Street and Washington/Jefferson) all summer long. For ticket information, visit the Mercury website.
February 1 marked the 16th annual DREAMR (Downtown Revitalization Effort Awards of Merit and Recognition) awards program at the Phoenix Convention Center. Sure, it’s great to get a bunch of Downtown visionaries under one roof to recognize the important efforts each have made for Downtown to be what is it today. But, it’s truly best to honor a few of the individuals that have been around the longest, seen the most and fought the hardest. That’s where the DREAMRs come in.
The DREAMRs “honor the individuals, projects and organizations that dare to dream and work to make those dreams come true.” That may sound a bit vague, but the basic premise of the awards luncheon, presented by the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, is to recognize those that have “cleaned up” Downtown — wiped away the blight and replaced it with shiny new buildings, commerce and business-minded tenants and retail space.
Downtown’s skyline is changing (now, to focus on mid-rise affordable living!), and that deserves to be recognized. Keynote speakers Kimber Lanning of Local First Arizona and Matt Lehrman of ShowUp.com both urged the attendees to support locally owned businesses and explore all the hidden gems that Downtown Phoenix has to offer. After hopefully inspiring the room, the awards presentations got underway. Here is a recap of the day’s winners.
Private Sector Individual: Mike Ratner. Ratner owns Tom’s Tavern, which has sat inauspiciously on Washington Street for 80 years. It has survived countless recessions, building booms and busts and many plans for the zero/zero block at Central and Washington, and it has survived because it gives combines elements so few places can — friendly service, comfortable atmosphere, quality food and good bargains. Ratner is hoping to see a spike in customers (and hours of operation) once CityScape‘s phases are up and rolling.
Public Sector/Non-Profit Individual: Don Keuth. Keuth is the President of the Phoenix Community Alliance, which is responsible for a number of private sector advances in Central Phoenix. In short, PCA has helped our skyline grow, our infill projects sprout up and our streets get clean. With Keuth at the helm, the advancement will surely continue.
Organization: Phoenix Mercury. You can’t argue that the Mercury is our most consistent franchise. Don’t forget that they’re the ones hoisting the championship banners, not the Suns, D’Backs, Cardinals or Coyotes. The Mercury has experienced steady growth over its 13 seasons in the WNBA, and the success is apparent. There are few other markets that can draw the kind of WNBA crowds the Mercury consistently does.
Program/Project: Freeport McMoRan Center. It was once called Central Park East, but with Freeport McMoRan moving a bit north to occupy the new build project on Central and Van Buren, the glassy tower has established a true identity. Coupled with a forthcoming Westin business-class hotel, the building will further advance Downtown Phoenix’s business reputation.
“Unsung Hero”: Frank Fairbanks. Fairbanks saw more than his fair share of blight during his two-decade tenure as city manager. He accomplished so much, most notably helping to revitalize Downtown Phoenix with ASU’s Downtown campus, the Convention Center expansion and light rail implementation. It’s safe to say the city core is a better place thanks to all of Fairbanks’ efforts.
Visionary: R. Neil Irwin. Irwin, an attorney by day, is the only chairman in the Downtown Phoenix Partnership’s 20-year run, so his announcement to leave his post earlier this year is certainly a big deal. Irwin oversaw countless advancements in the organization and Downtown’s revitalization, earning the DREAMR’s highest honor.
Calling all Suns fans, calling all Suns fans, I have an announcement to make. With 15 days until the home opener of the 2009-2010 Phoenix Suns season, we haven’t much time. Time for what, you may ask. Time for change. I’m not asking for a change in personnel. I’m not one of those guys that’s going to sit here and say, “Fire Kerr,” or “Trade STAT.” The change I’m talking about must come from the fans.
As a season ticket holder, I’ve noticed the crowd at US Airways Center doesn’t always seem to bring it. Now, granted, there are the few occasions when teams such as the Lakers or Spurs are in town and the people in attendance really get up for the game. What we need is that same intensity every time out. As fans, we complain when players only show up half the time. We demand better of them, but shouldn’t we also demand better of ourselves?
I attended a few Mercury playoff games this year, and I think Suns fans could take note of the Mercury faithful. While the number of people in attendance was much lower than what you see at a Suns game, the fans there were far more involved. Everyone was constantly up and out of their seats, cheering. I saw people standing the whole game. That’s what I want to see at Suns games. Everyone on their feet. And, I don’t want to hear that excuse that if you stand, the people behind you can’t see. If they want to see, they can stand, too. They’re not watching a movie, they’re at a sporting event. Simply standing won’t cut it though. We need something unique that’s all our own. A few years back, Kings fans in Sacramento were known for having cowbells; why can’t we come up with something like that? I know there are fans out there with ideas — let’s hear them! Let’s come up with a signature chant that becomes second nature.
It’s not just the fans that attend games that need to step it up, though. It’s the entire Downtown Phoenix community. Local businesses Downtown should be decked out in purple and orange. Whenever there’s a Suns game, it should be shown in every bar and restaurant in the area. Have drink specials. Some businesses are already ahead of the game. Bar Smith projects all Suns games on its rooftop. Majerle’s regularly gives out 15% off discount cards to patrons that stop by on game day. Tom’s Tavern offers free parking at Patriots’ Garage to anyone that dines there before heading to a game. Now let’s get some of the other bars to do the same. Coach & Willie’s, Cooper’stown and Stoudemire’s are just a few of the bars within walking distance of USAC. All of them should be running gameday specials. And, if they already are, I want to hear about them. Get them out to the people. Every time the Suns take the court, Downtown should be one big party, just as it is outside the arena before a game, with many local radio stations having games and giveaways. METRO is doing its part by giving free light rail rides to anyone with a Suns ticket. It’s up to us to do the rest.
So, this is your call to action, Suns fans. Let’s turn US Airways Center into a sea of orange. Let’s make it a place opposing teams fear visiting. The product on the court is going to be very entertaining. We just need to do our part. Give that little extra push. We can be the difference. And, when we are, good things will happen, on and off the court.