Desert Diamond West Valley named title sponsor of Phoenix race

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Desert Diamond West Valley, a new gaming casino in suburban Phoenix, has been named title sponsor of the upcoming Verizon IndyCar Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.

The Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix will take place under the lights April 2 on the 1.022-mile oval in nearby Avondale, Ariz. It will mark the first Verizon IndyCar Series race since 2005 at the track bathed in Indy car history.

“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Desert Diamond West Valley,” Bryan Sperber, president of Phoenix International Raceway, said. “Bringing INDYCAR to PIR was a substantial goal of ours and this demonstrates the strong local support we have for the upcoming race right here in the valley. We look forward to showcasing INDYCAR here under the lights on April 2 alongside our new partner.”

The Desert Diamond West Valley opened Dec. 20, near the western Phoenix suburbs of Glendale and Peoria to enormous turnout. Amenities include a casino floor with more than 1,000 gaming devices, dining options and more.

“We are very excited to be partnering with PIR on the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix,” said Andy Asselin, CEO of Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment. “Both PIR and Desert Diamond offer unique entertainment opportunities to the community, so it just made sense to work together on this fantastic race.”

Phoenix International Raceway boasts a rich Indy car history, hosting 61 races from its opening in 1964 through 2005. Past winners have included the likes of A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser and Johnny Rutherford. This year’s field will include a pair of previous winners at PIR, Helio Castroneves of Team Penske and Tony Kanaan from Chip Ganassi Racing Teams.

Tickets for the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix are on sale, with prices ranging from $35-70. Each ticket includes access to pit road. Tickets for children are $10 and active-duty military members and veterans will receive discounted pricing. Tickets are available online at PhoenixRaceway.com and by phone at (866) 408-RACE (7223).

PIR also announced that platinum-selling rock band Better Than Ezra will perform on the track's main stage on race day, with admission to the concert free to fans with a grandstand ticket. Formed in 1988, Better Than Ezra has released eight studio albums, including "Deluxe," which went platinum following its 1993 release.

The Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix – the second race of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule that also includes the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil – will be a 250-lap race airing on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network (8:30 p.m. ET April 2). Practice and qualifying take place April 1, with the opening practice (1 p.m. ET) and qualifying (5 p.m. ET) also airing live on NBCSN. Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires is also on the PIR weekend schedule, with its 90-lap race slated for 4:25 p.m. ET April 2.

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