Page 3 of 3

Our Cotton Express advertising campaign worked. We've had a remarkable run.
This is what the NBA is all about now. Packed houses. Slam dunks. The Gorilla. Ear-shattering sound effects. And most of all, commercial involvement in our product lines like shirts, posters, jackets, caps and whatnot.

For almost two seasons now, we've played to capacity crowds at the old arena. Financially, we have never been in a better position. The television profits keep pouring in. Advertisers are fighting to get in line to advertise with us. Season-ticket sales are at an all-time high.

We have a quality product that has caught the American public's fancy. We have been helped, too, because the shape of the playing floor actually makes it a better game to watch on television than either baseball or football.

These are the things that make it possible for me to drive a Jaguar and have a big house and a summer home, and for each of you to drive a Mercedes-Benz and a Porsche on alternate days.

Now we must look to the future.
Permit me to pat myself on the back a little bit about what I'm about to tell you next. I admit that I am an ambitious man who never sits still. I am a little bit like Commissioner David Stern in that regard. We both think continually in terms of commercial greatness. We are the Cosimo and Lorenzo de Medici of modern times.

A few years back, just when the NBA's popularity was about to explode, I was clever enough to coerce the City of Phoenix into an incredible sweetheart deal for us.

I hinted that we would be forced to leave town because the Coliseum was too small. City officials panicked. As a result, we will have our own brand-new America West Arena starting next season.

Let me assure you that it is a state-of-the-art playing facility. With this new arena, we will be able to sell more season tickets than ever before.

And it won't stop.
Ticket prices will continue to rise. So will television revenues. More and more products will be sold. Commissioner Stern and I won't rest until every man, woman and child in America is the proud owner of a team tee shirt, cap and jacket, as well as a life-size poster of Michael Jordan.

There will be sky boxes for our corporate Suns fans who now seem willing to bear any ticket price as long as their corporation pays for it and it can be buried in the corporate expense report.

And don't be dismayed by your friends who try to tell you this arena is really an ugly, oversize building when they see it from the outside.

Beauty is in the eye of those who understand the box office. Let critics call our arena a monstrosity as often as they want. The song that will be played inside the accounting office will be prettier than any by Aretha Franklin or Ray Charles.

In addition to professional basketball, we also are going to have our own indoor football team and a series of public events that will keep the doors revolving for as many nights of the year as possible. Tractor pulls, mud wrestling and other cultural events are a distinct possibility. So are such cultural events as conventions by the National Rifle Association.

We are entering a truly golden era.
The future is one of world domination by the NBA and Commissioner Stern. I envision a time in the not-too-distant future when every man, woman and child has an NBA tee shirt and cap, as well as a life-size poster of Michael Jordan in the entrance hall of their abode.

Thank you for your attention. Chairman Jerry


KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Tom Fitzpatrick