*Photo courtesy of ASM Global, City of Glendale
The city of Glendale and ASM Global, the world’s leading producer of entertainment experiences, venue management and event strategy, have revealed plans for the reimagination of Gila River Arena, which anchors the vibrant 223-acre Westgate Entertainment District.
Renowned architectural firm HOK has been selected for designing the arena’s revitalization and will work closely with ASM’s design team. Owned by the city and managed by ASM Global, the updated facility will allow Glendale and ASM Global to focus on substantially enhancing live entertainment options and providing flexibility in elevating the execution of live events.
“We are incredibly excited about the bright future as we look to how we evolve the facility and reinvent how people experience Gila River Arena,” said Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps. “Bringing in the expertise of an industry leader like HOK is critical for providing more opportunities for the venue to reach its full potential.”
Phelps says the modernization will position Glendale to aggressively attract national and international acts. “Our work together with ASM Global’s design team and HOK will help define the next generation of entertainment experiences in Glendale as we serve our community, region and visitors,” said Phelps. “We know that if we do it right, we can create a highly integrated venue that will make waves in the marketplace, exceeding performer and spectator expectations.”
ASM President and CEO Ron Bension said, “The entertainment industry has changed dramatically since Gila River Arena opened its doors in 2003. The renovations will ensure—as is the case with the entire ASM global portfolio—that Gila is a world-class choice with cutting-edge technology and updated amenities for guests.”
Chuck Steedman, executive vice president of strategy and development for ASM Global, said, “We worked with HOK on many other arena projects, so we know they bring the expertise and share Glendale’s vision for the arena as a premier destination for live entertainment in the metropolitan area. We know HOK can deliver a world-class design for the city, allowing the arena to provide a tremendous and ongoing catalyst to the Westgate Entertainment District, the city and the entire valley.”
HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm featuring a sports and entertainment division that specializes in the design of arenas, stadiums, ballparks, training facilities and entertainment centers. HOK has been responsible for some of the most significant innovations in the sports, entertainment and hospitality industries.
The arena was built as a multipurpose facility, which housed the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes Hockey team. The Coyotes will no longer play at the arena after their current season ends this year. HOK demonstrated that during a rigorous and competitive selection process, it is both creatively and technically adept to achieve Glendale’s goal of reimagining Gila River Arena once it no longer serves as a hockey venue.
“Gila River Arena has long been a vital contributor to the city of Glendale’s culture and economy,” said Rashed Singaby, principal and senior project designer at HOK. “We’re looking forward to collaborating with the city and ASM Global to reimagine the arena for future fans and spectators while ensuring it remains a vibrant entertainment destination for the region.”
ASM and HOK have successful track records of elevating existing facilities with a “wow” factor, while incorporating current and future thinking around the guest experience, fan amenities, back-of-house infrastructure, and food and beverage options.
ASM’s T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, located in the Power & Light Entertainment District, is just one example. ASM utilized HOK as one of the lead architectural design firms involved in building the T-Mobile Center in 2007. The venue was a key component in the dramatic transformation of Kansas City’s downtown, which is now a destination for visitors and point of pride for the city.
“Both the T-Mobile Center and Gila River Arena are the vibrant hearts and anchors within their respective entertainment districts,” said Steedman. “Even without a professional sports franchise anchor tenant, the T-Mobile Center is thriving and attracting the biggest live entertainment and concerts in the world.”