Glendale will be the regular home for a second professional football team, at least temporarily.
The Arizona Rattlers, six-time champions and the recent runner-up in the IFL, announced an agreement with Gila River Arena, home of the Arizona Coyotes, to host its 2020 home games. An option was provided to extend the lease to 2021.
The agreement became necessary, as the Phoenix Suns and former Rattlers home, Talking Stick Resort Arena, announced a planned $230 million renovation to “bring the 27-year-old facility into the 21st century.” The renovations will begin in 2020.
“We will miss the friendly confines of Talking Stick Resort Arena but are excited about the new opportunities Gila River Arena brings,” team owner Ron Shurts said. “The support and environment during the playoffs were amazing, and we look forward to growing our fan base on the west side.”
Glendale, and Gila River Arena, has proven good grounds for Rattlers crowds in the past. The Rattlers hosted two playoff games at the facility this postseason, including the 2019 IFL United Bowl Championship game and the ArenaBowl XXIX in 2016. The Rattlers fell 56-53 to the Sioux Fall Storm on July 13 in front of a record crowd of over 14,000.
While plans for the years after the lease ends were not made public, Gila River Arena staff expressed gratitude for the Rattlers selecting the Glendale location for at least one season.
“We are very excited to have the opportunity to host this incredible team next season and very much value the Rattlers partnership,” said Dale Adams, general manager of Gila River Arena.
“We look forward to continuing to grow the brands of both the Rattlers and the Indoor Football League here in Glendale.”