The planned merger of American Airlines and U.S. Airways will ultimately affect the U.S. Airways Center in downtown Phoenix. However, almost a month after that announcement, details of what will change and how soon remain unclear.
U.S. Airways absorbed a 30-year, $26 million naming rights contract when the company merged with America West Airlines in 2005.
The contract runs until 2022.
U.S. Airways Center is owned by the city of Phoenix and operated by Ralph Marchetta, who is listed by the NBA as being general manager of sports and entertainment services. Marchetta also oversees operations at the arena.
CBS 5 News left a voicemail message for Marchetta Thursday requesting more information about how the airline merger would affect the venue.
Subsequently, Suns' President Jason Rowley provided this emailed statement to CBS 5 News:
"We are aware of the U.S. Airways and American Airlines merger discussions, but at this time there will not be any changes to the U.S. Airways Center name or any signage within the arena. It is possible that a change could occur in the future and we are in close communications with U.S. Airways management. For now, the airline remains a valued partner that we will continue to support however we can."
Questions remain about how soon the naming rights to the arena could change hands and how much money, if any, U.S. Airways still owes on the contract.
Suns' management did not immediately respond to follow-up questions sent by email late Friday afternoon.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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