City of Phoenix looking to create 24/7 entertainment district

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The City of Phoenix is looking to increase tourism and has taken the first step in creating a 24/7 entertainment district in downtown Phoenix as part of the Convention Center expansion. Christine Mackay, Community and Economic Development Director for the City of Phoenix, discussed what this could mean for the area.

A subcommittee has unanimously voted to solicit bids from consultants to help guide the process. The entertainment district would create a branded, walkable area surrounding the Phoenix Convention Center that would offer 24/7 nightlife and things to do.

Ground-level building floors would focus on restaurants and retail. Amenities could include small parks, “street performers, wayfinding kiosks, monumental public art and artistic lighting or projections” to spark up the area, according to city documents.

It is already an area that exists today, focused on placemaking, arts, culture, sports and more.

“Should the Council approve this at their June 28 meeting, we would move forward with an RFP to secure a consultant that would work with our stakeholders and identify where that should be. Clearly, it would be around the Diamondbacks and the Suns, and then our convention center, but when you think about Roosevelt Row and the First Friday art walk and walking up into that area, it feels like it should connect all the way up into that area,” Mackay said.

There is also talk about an air conditioned walkway being built that would connect the newer convention centers and then the expanded convention center on the south side of Washington, Mackay said.

What is really great about downtown Phoenix, according to Mackay, is that the city attracts locals and tourists alike.

“We have a lot of influx already of our local citizens that come into downtown Phoenix, and engaging something that makes them want to stay around a little bit longer, or if there’s not a Suns game that they want to just come into downtown Phoenix to see what might be happening on the music front or on the arts front, is what we’re going for,” Mackay said.

Christine Mackay, Community and Economic Development Director for the City of Phoenix

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