INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) - The Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets will play the first outdoor game in modern NBA history during the 2008-09 preseason.
The exhibition game on Oct. 11 at the 16,000-seat Indian Wells Tennis Garden will be televised by TNT.
The game follows the NHL's successful outdoor game on New Year's Day in Buffalo, N.Y.
``What will happen here will be historic,'' Rick Welts, the Suns' president and chief operating officer, said Tuesday. ``More importantly, I think this will be a lot of fun. Most of us learned how to play basketball outdoors. This had the perfect circumstances to do it in the NBA.''
It won't be the first NBA game to be played outdoors. The Suns defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in a preseason game on Sept. 24, 1972, at a baseball stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Welts said the ideal weather in October and the facility made it possible to hold the event. The tennis stadium is home to the Pacific Life Open, one of the major events on the men's and women's pro tours.
Because the seating is built around the parameters of a tennis court, rather than a hockey rink like most NBA arenas, Welts said the game will offer a more intimate setting.
``It's an NBA-quality facility with no roof on it,'' Welts said.
In the unlikely event the game is rained out, Welts said it would be played the next day.
The Suns feature megastars Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire and Shaquille O'Neal. The team picked the Denver Nuggets because of their marquee players, Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony, and because there are direct flights from Denver to Palm Springs.
Suns partner Richard Heckmann, who lives in the area, helped put the game together after it was suggested by someone from the local parks and recreation department.
In October, the Suns brought in a basketball floor to test the facility and found it suitable. Depending on ticket sales, Heckmann said an outdoor preseason game could be an annual event.
``It makes for an unbelievable stadium for basketball,'' he said. ``The sight lines are equal or better than any arena in the NBA.''
The Suns also considered staging the game at the USTA Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., but the weather then likely would be unsuitable.

Top NBA Public Bets

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Pacers vs. Spurs Pick Are the Indiana Pacers going to keep it competitive tonight when they take on the host San Antonio Spurs...
Thumbnail Nets vs. Pistons Pick Are the host Detroit Pistons going to end their four-game losing streak this afternoon when they battle the Brooklyn...
Thumbnail Knicks vs. Lakers Pick  Are the New York Knicks going to secure a road win this afternoon when they play at the Los Angeles Lakers?...
Thumbnail Magic vs. Celtics Pick Is it going to be a dominating performance this afternoon at 1PM ET by the Boston Celtics when they host the Orlando...
Thumbnail Clippers vs. Jazz Pick Are the Los Angeles Clippers going to secure a seventh consecutive victory tonight at 9PM ET when they play the host Utah...

NBA Team Pages