Findlay Toyota Center
Since 2006 the Findlay Toyota Center has been bringing dynamic entertainment and community spirit to central Arizona.
Business View Interviews representatives of Findlay Toyota Center, for our ongoing focus on event centers across North America.
The Findlay Toyota Center, located in Prescott Valley, Arizona, has been a cherished hub of entertainment and community engagement since it first opened its doors in 2006. With an established reputation as a versatile multi-purpose facility, the 6,000 seat arena spans 165,000 square feet of floor space and is an ideal venue for a diverse range of events, including concerts, sporting events, family shows, conferences, banquets, and cultural programs.
The Findlay Toyota Center is owned by the Entertainment Center Community Facilities District (ECCFD), an entity of the Town of Prescott Valley, while its efficient management is entrusted to OVG360, a division of Oak View Group. “We really focus on attracting a variety of events. That’s why we’re in business, to provide entertainment to the region, and provide a quality of life and place, where people can come to have a good time,” says General Manager, Shane Cadwell. He emphasizes the commitment to providing a diverse array of entertainment options, ranging from indoor football with tenant team the Northern Arizona Wranglers, to hosting a wide array of events throughout the year.
Community Events and Impact
“We love to do the community events,” acknowledges Assistant General Manager, Scott Rubke. This commitment to community engagement is exemplified through the approximately 70 events the venue hosts annually, including activities from public ice skating to adult hockey leagues. Rubke shares some impactful initiatives such as the “Real Hope Food Distribution,” addressing local food insecurity, and the “Cruise-In for the Veterans Car Show,” which actively supports veterans in the area. The venue prioritizes collaboration with the local school district, participating in an annual backpack giveaway and the esteemed “Teacher of the Year Banquet.” Another standout initiative is the “Arizona Sonshine,” offering free health care services to the community, addressing crucial healthcare needs from physicals to dental and eye exams. “We’re very proud that we’re able to give back to our community with free health care, which we all know is an expense to everybody,” he says.
Collaborations and Partnerships
Highlighting the arena’s key partnerships, Rubke underscores the significant collaboration with the ECCFD, and the ongoing support from the Findlay Toyota Prescott Dealership, the venue’s namesake. He points to the unique partnership with Gabby’s Family of Restaurants, a local, family-owned business that operates the venue’s concession stands. “The Cabral Family has been a partner in here since the beginning. We’re very thankful for them,” he conveys. “I don’t think most venues have that, it’s typically corporate. We have a local guy, so, if anything comes up, it’s easy to get a hold of him. He knows our clients better than anybody else, because frankly, he is one.”
The collaboration with local businesses extends to the Findlay Toyota Center’s commitment to working closely with hotels and restaurants, designing packages for visitors, based on the event. “There are occasions where we’ve done promotions with several of the hotels and created packages for either a dinner before an event or to include a night’s stay. Those are things that we always try and tie in when it makes sense for the event,” Cadwell portrays. “We are a smaller community, but we try to work through partnerships that we have, and businesses that work together with us.” He emphasizes the relationship with the local and regional Chambers of Commerce, Chino Valley, Prescott, and Prescott Valley. “We all work with each other and share information and events that are happening in our area, so that we are communicating who’s coming to town, how many people are expected, all those types of things.”
Adapting to Challenges
During COVID, Findlay Toyota Center proved its agility as it pivoted to hosting outdoor drive-in events, creating opportunities for the community to gather in a safe way. “We had a series of four concerts that we did in the parking lot, where everyone drove in with their cars and then watched the shows on a video screen outside,” Cadwell elaborates. “As part of that, we did a comedy show with Burt Kriescher. He was actually live on stage, but it was in that same setting.”
The venue also underwent upgrades for enhanced safety and implemented touchless technologies such as digital ticketing. Cadwell relays how the arena also took the opportunity to evaluate concessions within the facility. “We bought new concessions, menu boards, changed the POS system, and created new portable sales locations to really spread everything out,” he says, “Now we have all these things that make everything run much smoother, and they’re much more convenient for our guests.”
As for capital improvements Rubke asserts, “We’ve been supported greatly by our owners and management team, so we’ve been able to do quite a few projects.” Taking advantage of the vacant facility during the pandemic, the main event area of Findlay Toyota Center was upgraded to an LED lighting system. “We can control colors and settings and whatever else we want to,” he describes. “We’ve replaced our boilers to be more efficient in that same timeframe. We’ve upgraded our audio system to a JBL line array system so that the fan listening to our events has a clearer audio picture coming at them, and we’ve upgraded our house video system to HD, so they have a clearer picture. It’s given us a lot of opportunities to upgrade and be more efficient.”
One of Findlay Toyota Center’s greatest strengths lies in its ability to cater to a diverse audience. Lynette Crowe, Director of Marketing, discusses the venue’s rich lineup of events ranging from family-favorite PAW Patrol to the classic Mannheim Steamroller Christmas concert, to the much-anticipated Lainey Wilson. The center’s calendar is a tapestry of entertainment, including shows by Clint Black, the Toughest Monster Truck Tour, and the globally beloved Harlem Globetrotters, who Crowe says, “attracts people of all ages, from grandparents that saw the show when they were younger, and now they’re taking their grandkids, as well as younger people coming to see the show.” She spotlights the return of beloved annual events, such as the Mile High PBR bull riding competition, recounting, “That is a local favorite event, along with youth sports, wrestling tournaments, and basketball tournaments. We have quite a few events that repeat every year, and they were able to keep their businesses going during the pandemic, and they are still coming here.”
A Vision for 2024 and Beyond
As the Findlay Toyota Center envisions the future, Cadwell is optimistic about significant developments in the vicinity, such as new residential projects and a forthcoming hotel. He says, “We are going to see a lot of residents that are walking distance to the center, which should really be a boon to us. We have the potential for adding another sports team, we see that on the horizon. We have quite a few capital projects that are coming up, that are really going to be helpful for us.”
Along with this, Cadwell expresses the intention to attract more concert promoters and event producers, potentially securing high-profile shows. “We’ve had several new ones that have come into the market for the first time here in the last little bit and we’re excited about having good, strong conversations with others that we feel will bring shows in the coming years,” he reports. Moving forward, Findlay Toyota Center remains focused on fostering a sense of community and shared experiences. Bolstered by this commitment to community, strategic partnerships, and a forward-thinking approach, the center stands poised to continue delivering exceptional entertainment experiences for years to come.
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AT A GLANCE
Findlay Toyota Center
What: A 6,000 seat multipurpose event space, embracing future opportunities
Where: Prescott Valley, Arizona
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