City of Glendale officials have approved anew long-term lease agreement and $40 million renovation plan with ASM Global—the world’s largest venue management company—as part of a multiyear strategy to continue to increase the venue’s fiscal returns and prominence.
Desert Diamond Arena is home to the popular Professional Bull Riders Arizona Ridge Riders and currently hosts concerts and other entertainment acts throughout the year. Desert Diamond Arena has a seating capacity of 18,300 for basketball and about 19,000 for concert events. The arena has 3,075 club seats and 87 luxury suites. ASM Global has operated the city-owned venue for the past 6-1/2 years. 2022 marked Desert Diamond Arena’s best financial performance in the past 17 years, highlighted by multiple sold-out events including Pearl Jam, Eric Church, Grupo Firme, Alan Jackson and two Billie Eilish concerts.
City leaders said they are excited about this announcement. “This agreement demonstrates that ASM Global, an internationally recognized leader in arena and venue management, is aligned with our belief about the tremendous future for our ever-expanding Sports and Entertainment District,” said Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps. “Much of our recent success here in Glendale is that we have positioned ourselves together with high-impact, respected partners like ASM Global. It has an unparalleled international portfolio, including the most prestigious, iconic and successful venues. We look forward to seeing just how far this relationship will elevate and build on our goal to be recognized as one of the top sports and entertainment districts in the U.S.”
ASM Global’s President and CEO Ron Bension said, “We passionately believe in Glendale and Desert Diamond’s potential to live up to its name as a diamond in the entertainment sphere. The area’s track record of hosting spectacular events—like the Super Bowl—can grow even more to enrich the community. We’re looking forward to further leverage our worldwide expertise in this market.”
Utilizing its global relationships in content, programming, planning, technology, sustainability and guest safety, ASM Global will partner to fund renovation plans to enhance the guest, artist and athlete experience at Desert Diamond. The Glendale site is part of ASM Global’s network of more than 350 venues around the world that host 20,000 events and welcome 165 million guests every year.
HOK has been selected to help with the renovation and design. As part of the new agreement, which includes a lease/buy option for ASM to exercise, the company plans to robustly leverage its anchoring of the adjacent $1 billion Westgate Entertainment District, formerly known as Westgate City Center, the super-regional, mixed-use development destination for shopping, dining, entertainment and commercial office space.