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Talking Stick Resort Arena History

From its planning inception in 1988 and eventual opening in June of 1992, Talking Stick Resort Arena (formerly US Airways Center, as of October 2015) was the benchmark for other cities and other sports facilities.

Its design boasted innovations that had not been seen in arenas of its day including multi-story suite levels, attached premium parking facilities, and integrated team practice facility. Both public and private critics saw Talking Stick Resort Arena as a catalytic project capable of stimulating urban growth.

In its first full year of operation, the originally named America West Arena received every award a new venue of its kind was afforded, including Best New Concert Venue by Performance Magazine and Best NBA Facility by acclaim of those who know best, the players themselves.

Through the course of the ’90s, new facilities around the country followed the example of Talking Stick Resort Arena and new projects sprung up in nearly all the major western state metropolitan areas: Denver, Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City and in 1999, Los Angeles and Dallas with dramatic new STAPLES Center and American Airlines Center. Technology changed, entertainment options proliferated and the city’s emerging new downtown continued to evolve in positive ways.

Talking Stick Resort Arena SNAPSHOT

  • Management: Sports and Entertainment Services
  • Parking: 900-space attached garage; 1,500-space garage next door
  • Suites: 87 luxury suites and six party suites on two mid-level concourses
  • Accessible Seating: Available on all levels 

The Talking Stick Resort Arena completed a $70 million expansion and improvement project in 2004. Gone is the block exterior, replaced with soaring glass walls. The outdoor ticket office is now enclosed inside the new 14,000 square foot Casino Arizona Pavilion, serving as a grand entrance highlighted by a 12 × 20 foot video wall. On the east side, the Dos Equis Beer Garden is a flexible outdoor entertainment venue covered by a football field-length canopy featuring state-of-the-art sound and video projection systems, as well as the stylish Dos Equis Beer Garden bar area and facilities that double as television studio facilities for Suns telecasts and a performance stage for music events.

Other improvements include new technology installed in the bowl including a 900-foot LED ribbon, a center-hung scoreboard with HDTV screens, a new sound system, a new Courtside Club and the Suns Gorilla Greenhouse, a 7,000 square foot family friendly active home to the Phoenix Suns Gorilla. At street level the Talking Stick Resort Arena now features a Carl's Jr., an expanded Team Shop and the Blue Moon Club.