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An Arizona tribe is going to be the first to have naming rights to a professional sports arena


Jobing.com Arena, home of the Phoenix Coyotes, will be renamed pending approval from the City of Glendale, Ariz. (via Mortadelo2005. licensed under Creative Commons)

The Arizona Coyotes and Gila River Casinos announced Wednesday a nine-year naming agreement for the NHL team’s arena in Glendale, Ariz., the first time a business owned by a federally recognized tribe has made a naming deal with a venue for one of the big four professional sports.

Only Indian casinos are legal in Arizona. The Gila River Indian Community operates three in the Phoenix area, and there are an additional 23 Indian casinos in the state, according to the American Gaming Association. Arizona is one of 28 states where Indian casinos are legal.

The name change isn’t official yet; the Glendale City Council must approve any change, and is expected to do so on Sept. 9, according to a press release.

A spokeswoman for Gila River Casinos, Melody Hudson, said the financial terms of the naming deal have not been disclosed. Opened in 2003, the arena was originally called Glendale Arena until 2006, following a naming deal with Jobing.com.

Hunter Schwarz covers the intersection of politics and pop culture for the Washington Post

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