Phoenix Convention Center to develop entertainment district

By Christina Estes
Published: Monday, October 31, 2022 - 5:05am
Updated: Monday, October 31, 2022 - 7:50am

stairs leading to south building
Christina Estes/KJZZ
The South Building of the Phoenix Convention Center.

Nearly three years after a consultant’s suggestion, the Phoenix Convention Center is moving forward with plans to create an entertainment district.

San Antonio has River Walk, Seattle has Pike Street, and Nashville has Music City Center, but Phoenix has no branded area immediately around the convention center downtown. 

Consultant John Kaatz told the city’s economic development subcommittee that an entertainment district will attract more people.

“Not just the visitor industry because if we invest in those kinds of assets, it becomes an amazing quality of life experience for an increasing downtown resident base, the increasing worker base. It’s a partnership between catering to your visitors and catering to the residents of Phoenix,” he said.

The convention center, working with Visit Phoenix, will begin the process to hire experts to plan an entertainment district. 

To stay competitive, Kaatz said Phoenix also needs another major hotel with at least 800 rooms, along with additional space at the center’s South Building, which is located right across from Chase Field. Compared to its competitors, Kaatz said Phoenix is in the middle of the pack when it comes to exhibit, meeting and ballroom space.