Future of Arizona State Fairgrounds in Discussion By Arizona officials

Home Future of Arizona State Fairgrounds in Discussion By Arizona officials

March 8, 2018
Kristine Nolan

The future of the Arizona State Fair and Exposition will be in discussion by board members at this week’s public planning event. The Arizona Exposition and State Fair Board, the state’s historic preservation office, and the governor’s office plan to hold the first meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the coliseum at the fairgrounds.

A year ago, Gov. Doug Ducey consulted the public for ideas to update and improve the site. A work meeting was held Saturday, and a preliminary report was delivered the following afternoon. In May, the final report on the meetings will be released to the public.

Since 1884, the 88-acre grounds have been partially bordered by a historic neighborhood and home to the state fair.  The site was originally known for its territory fair until 1891. Over the years, Maricopa County’s fair and other events have also called the fairgrounds home.

The grounds are no stranger to exciting shows and unique talents. Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, which is located on the site, has hosted rock show—featuring esteemed artists like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and the Rolling Stones—and visits from dignitaries like Pope John Paul II.

 Political figures such as President George W. Bush (2004) and campaigning presidents like Barack Obama (2008) and Donald Trump (June 2016) have made appearances at the fairgrounds, while professional sports teams like The Phoenix Suns and the Phoenix Roadrunners referred to the grounds as home at one time.

The public planning event will begin at 9 a.m. with a public tour of the fairgrounds near 15th and McDowell Road in Central Phoenix, while in the afternoon, panels will meet to discuss ideas for potential development.

 

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