Wednesday, September 22, 2021 7:07 pm

Scottsdale preps for $27.5M upgrade to Civic Center Mall to attract big events

By Renata Cló | Arizona Republic

Scottsdale will start $27.5 million in renovations to its Civic Center Mall this fall to better compete to attract Super Bowl events in 2023 and other major events. 

Voters approved a bond to pay for the project in 2019, four years after the city started gathering community input about the space in Old Town. During the process of analyzing the needs of the mall, structural deficiencies that needed prompt response were identified, which led to a 14-month closure of the Drinkwater Bridge for repairs in 2018. 

Scottsdale officials said the open-space area is showing its 51-year age with its “outdated restrooms, oversized fountains and other structural and electrical issues” despite its lush landscape and public art. The city also recognized a need to improve access in and out of the park from Old Town. 

Keeping in mind that it takes event producers more time and money to plan events with the center’s current infrastructure, the goal is to place Scottsdale in a competitive position to host outdoor events, according to the city. Scottsdale Tourism and Events Director Karen Churchard said the plans include establishing family-friendly spaces for park-goers as well as creating a smaller-scale event schedule such as yoga sessions or library readings.

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