It has been a long and winding road when it comes to the much ballyhooed Scottsdale Civic Center upgrade. It has been behind schedule with early reviews being less than generous, especially with regards to shade. However, it would seem that early unveilings were a false start of sorts, and the completed project is now finalized and ready for the public.
So how do the upgrades look? They feature three new outdoor stages, kid-friendly play areas, botanical exhibits, 140 new shade trees (addressing a previous complaint about a lack of shade) and water conservation turf areas. Highlighted in the improvements are a new permanent stage at the East Bowl with a shade structure and a new centrally located 360-degree performance structure between the Civic Loop and West Bowl. It looks designed to have the capability to not only hold one-off concerts, but full festivals.
So far so good…it seems to have the makings of a legitimate venue worthy of significant events coming through, and that’s exactly what will be happening with Fall in Love with Scottsdale, a series of cultural events designed to highlight the new upgrade. Wildly beloved indie band Wilco will headline the launch; for those of you who might be a little less hip, this is a very significant pull for the city.
And that is just the opening show…the actual array of 70 different events in Fall in Love is truly impressive. From public art to wine to additional concerts to turtles (and that’s just scratching the surface), Fall in Love certainly looks to be a gigantic undertaking incorporating a wide array of different types of entertainment and culture, with events for seniors, families, and every age group in between. Pulling this off without any major hiccups might actually make last year’s Super Bowl festivities look simple in comparison.
All of this comes as a result of Bond 2019, the voter-approved spending package that passed in 2019. While the project has taken some heat with unforced errors on the planning side as well as significant cost overruns (some should have been foreseen, some a result of major inflation since passage), that is likely to be forgotten in the face of a positive result of a lasting and cherished venue.
While the roll-out was far from perfect, it certainly seems as though the end product will be worth the wait, although we wish and hope for more shade . The end result is that Scottsdale has further built its brand as a destination, not just for out-of-state tourists but for visitors around the Valley.