Ak-Chin Pavilion, an outdoor concert venue in Phoenix, has a new name.
Live Nation said Talking Stick Resort is the new name-in-title sponsor of the venue, which is now called Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre.
The 20,000-capacity venue has been an entertainment destination for Valley music fans since 1990, when Billy Joel played what was then called Desert Sky Pavilion at 2121 N. 83rd Ave., Phoenix. It seats 8,106 under a pavilion roof and an additional 12,000 on the lawn behind the main stands.
Its final concert as Ak-Chin Pavilion was Nov. 5 with Phoenix legend Stevie Nicks, a two-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
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Talking Stick Resort expands its footprint into Phoenix
Talking Stick Resort has been an entertainment and hospitality destination on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community just east of the Loop 101 and Indian Bend Road near Scottsdale for more than a decade, with a four-diamond AAA rating.
This announcement marks Talking Stick’s return to Phoenix, It previously held the naming rights to what is now called Footprint Center downtown, which hosts the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury pro basketball teams along with live entertainment.
Ramon Martinez, director of public relations for Talking Stick Resort, issued a statement saying, “Talking Stick Resort prides itself on partnering with organizations with goals that align with our own. Live Nation is just that type of partner. Like us, they are committed and passionate about providing guests with unparalleledentertainment.
“We are proud to have the Talking Stick Resort name associated with a legendary venue where people go to have unforgettable experiences.”
The naming acquisition adds to Talking Stick Resort’s entertainment portfolio, which includes multiple venues where it hosts internationally known performers. The resort also has restaurants, lounges, spas, pools and a casino.
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Live Nation notes an ‘all-time high’ demand for live music
Live Nation Entertainment is the world’s leading live entertainment company, comprising Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts and Live Nation Sponsorship.
Live Nation Senior Vice President Andy Peikon issued a statement saying, “We’re amidst a historic time in live music, with demand at an all-time high. Fans everywhere continue prioritizing concerts to connect and make lasting memories, and we’re thrilled the Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre will be a part of those unforgettable live music moments for fans in Phoenix.”
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Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre has more than 30 years of history
For more than 30 years, the venue has hosted some of the biggest names in music, including Metallica, David Bowie, Jason Aldean, Wu-Tang Clan, Pearl Jam, the Police and Fleetwood Mac.
R.E.M. recorded two tracks for their classic 1996 release “New Adventures in Hi-Fi” there — “Binky the Doormat” and “Electrolite.” Fall Out Boy recorded “Live in Phoenix” from that stage while Green Day included a version of “Cigarettes and Valentines” captured on that stage on their live album, “Awesome As Expletive.”
The venue has had six previous name changes through the years:
- Desert Sky Pavilion, 1988-1996.
- Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavilion, 1996-2001.
- Cricket Pavilion, 2001-2006.
- Cricket Wireless Pavilion, 2006-2010.
- Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion, 2010-2013.
- Desert Sky Pavilion, briefly in 2013.
- Ak-Chin Pavilion, 2013-2023.
Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre is the only Phoenix Point of Pride in Maryvale, a program initiated by the Phoenix Pride Commission in 1991 to foster a sense of community pride among Valley residents.
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Who’s playing Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre in 2023
In 2022, the venue hosted one of its busiest schedules of shows.
Performers announced for the 2023 Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre season include:
- 98KUPD UFEST featuring Godsmack and more (May 6).
- Dead & Company (May 23).
- Shania Twain (May 30).
- Matchbox Twenty (May 31).
- Janet Jackson (June 7).
- ZZ Top with Lynyrd Skynyrd (Aug. 13).
- Foreigner (Aug. 20)
- Eric Church (Sept. 16).
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