Beasley Dodges Court Storm, Developers Looking at Sports Facility

Marc Beasley is well-known in the Arizona basketball scene. A referee, tournament organizer, and promoter of all the good things when it comes to round ball. Monday night he found himself in a unique situation with the zebra stripes on and whistle in mouth at Thatcher for the Junior College regional title game between Eastern Arizona and Arizona Western. Eastern won by 25 and the fans stormed the court. “I’ve been doing JUCO ball for 23 years here in Arizona and I’ve never been part of a court storm.  It wasn’t scary, but we couldn’t get to our locker room”. Drive two and-a-half hours to do your job, only to get caught up in the madness of March. BTW, the other ref in this photo is former Arizona Wildcat Eugene Edgerson, who played for Lute back in the day…

As many as ten different developers are working on concepts, ideas,  to fill a much-needed void in our sports market. A multi-purpose facility between 4-12 thousand seats to house high school championships, corporate events, rodeos, gem shows, etc. The high school basketball finals at Arizona State and GCU are fine, but the facilities are too big and the cost too much. Playing the high school football finals in Glendale on the Cardinals turf or at ASU may sound good to parents and players, but the reality is  it’s not cost-effective for the AIA, and it doesn’t look good to have a 65-thousand seat stadium, with only 5-thousand fans in attendance. The 101-202 freeways at Tempe is the epicenter of Maricopa County. Having a facility in that area would be ideal for the entire Valley. Two developers are trying to get the project done in the  far Southeast Valley. One by Gateway Airport, the other, further out. Taking a piece of land at an existing high school that sits in the middle of a SE Valley city and creating a facility like The Pit in Albuquerque, is being considered too. I’m sure my friends in Prescott Valley wouldn’t like to see all of the AIA events leave their area, but logistically(and financially) it doesn’t make sense to me that we don’t have one place to house playoffs and finals for high school and other sporting events. The Pyramid in Long Beach is another example of what we are missing here in Arizona. Ten developers see the vision, let’s hope one of them can get it pushed across the finish line…

Just a reminder, May 29th, 2010. The last day the Phoenix Suns had a playoff game. Where were you 10 years ago? Iron Man 2 and Shrek Forever After were released to theaters. “California Gurls” by Katy Perry and Snoop Dog was the number one song. NBC announced it was canceling “Law and Order”. So here we are once again dealing with drivel like “well, they’ve won more games than last year”…

Nice win by the Coyotes on Wednesday night at Vancouver. These last 14 games promise to make madness on the ice here in March…