Suns Games In Mexico An Opportunity To Build Stronger Fan Base Across Border

By Rodrigo Cervantes
December 20, 2016

MEXICO CITY — Next year will be the first time the Suns will be playing regular season games in Mexico.

Basketball fans in Arizona and Mexico are anxiously waiting for Jan. 12 and 14. The Phoenix Suns will be playing in Mexico City against Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs.

But it’s not just sports fans who are anticipating the games.

The games will bring the Suns the opportunity to build a stronger fan base across the border, as they expect to make Mexico City their second home.

But others see the matches as a good opportunity to strengthen the political and commercial ties between Arizona and Mexico. A committee of VIP politicians and business people are planning to head to the Mexican capital.

Antonio Proto is the head of the city of Phoenix office in northern Mexico. He is involved in the organization of the delegation that will visit Mexico City for the Suns game.

“I know that Mayor Stanton wants to go and has some friends who want to go. Governor Ducey wants to go and he is also bringing friends, so I think we will have a good crowd of people from Arizona rooting the Suns in Mexico City,” Proto said.

According to the Phoenix representative, they expect at least a 100 people participating in the committee.

As part of their activities, Proto said the delegation is planning to invite leaders from Mexico City to root for their team, but also to network.

“We want to leave the great feeling of saying Phoenix has a great basketball organization and welcomes Mexico,” Proto says.

The relationship has a strong value: Arizona exported to Mexico more than $9 billion last year.

But Proto also expects that many other Arizonans join the games and get a closer look to the capital of Arizona’s top business partner.

“You have 22 million people in Mexico City, and it’s like New York, you have everything,” he says.