Breaking News
More () »

Cam's Comments: The Suns need their own 'Deer District' in downtown Phoenix

The Suns need a place for fans to gather outside the arena like in Milwaukee and San Francisco, but where should it be?

PHOENIX — Have you had a hard time watching the NBA playoffs since the Suns lost in game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals to the Dallas Mavericks a week ago? 

I know I have. It has made me sick watching Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors just dance all over Luka Dončić and the Mavs. 

I can't even enjoy watching the Mavs lose (The Warriors are leading the series 3-0) because it is still too soon, and the Suns should be there. 

But I did notice something this week. Have you seen the crowd outside of the Chase Center in San Francisco? 

'Inside the NBA', TNT's popular pre- and postgame show starring Ernie Johnson, Jr., Shaquille O'Neal, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley, has been doing their show live on the arena's plaza. They also took the show on the road to Dallas, where Barkley opened the show by riding in on a horse. 

The crowd in both places has been wild. In San Francisco, they were chanting. "Charles Barkley sucks," after Barkley picked the Mavs to win.   

It reminds me of the Deer District, or Reindeer Watering Hole, as I called it during the NBA Finals last year in Milwaukee. 

All of that looks like a good time for fans, whether you have a ticket or not. 

That got me thinking. The Phoenix Suns need a place like that. Downtown Phoenix needs a place for massive amounts of fans to gather, hang and celebrate together for big events. 

Downtown Phoenix had that back in 2015. Remember Super Bowl Central in front of the Footprint Center? It was one big party. 

Go back even further, when there were even less buildings, to the Suns' runner-up celebration in 1993. Most of that space is now occupied by apartment buildings and a grocery store. There's nothing wrong with that, but the Suns need to find a new spot for their fans. 

The Suns tried that this year with the Rally Beach. But that's not taking it far enough. 

Here's my idea: renovate the parking lot across the street. I would clear out the entire block, including the stretch of 1st Street known as Taurasi Way, and connect it to the arena. Add a few bars, restaurants, and maybe even a food truck or two, but leave a massive space for fans to gather and watch the games together. 

Also, while we're at it, it's time to redo the plaza in front of the Footprint Center. It's long overdue. I have been saying this for years. This area needs to be turned into Legends Plaza. Make it full of statues of all of the Suns' great players, coaches and other important folks. 

This is similar to what the Los Angeles Lakers have in front of Crypto.com Arena, what the Denver Broncos have at Empower Field at Mile High and what the Dallas Cowboys have at AT&T Stadium. 

Since the Ring of Honor is just a digital message on a scoreboard, make this permanent outside. 

Many of you have let me know what you think about this idea on social media, with most saying this idea is feasible, but only if shade, misters and/or air conditioning are involved. 

This could create some issues for parking as another fan pointed out, but there are plenty of other options for parking downtown that would just require some walking. 

Another fan points out that the Suns could emulate Stadium Swim at Circa Las Vegas, with a jumbotron that people can watch while hanging out in the pool. If the Suns added some shade and misters over the pool decks, this could work. 

And at the end of the day, don't be like this fan. 

The Suns just won a team-record 64 games in the regular season and are just one year removed from an appearance in the NBA Finals.

Yes, the Game 7 loss hurt, but this team deserves our support. 

Let me know your thoughts on this idea by tweeting me @CamCox12

 12 Sports on YouTube 

Before You Leave, Check This Out