Centerpiece playground opens at Hance Park in downtown Phoenix

Dec 16, 2020, 11:00 AM
(Facebook Photo/City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department)...
(Facebook Photo/City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department)
(Facebook Photo/City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department)

PHOENIX – Let the fun begin.

Officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday for major piece of Margaret T. Hance Park’s $100 million revitalization project.

Fiesta Bowl PLAY at Hance Park, a 20,000-square-foot playground, is the centerpiece of phase 1A of the sprawling downtown Phoenix park’s renovation, according to a press release.

The new section on the west side of the park boasts a climbing wall, a net climbing structure, a water mist feature and a sand play area.

It also has three eye-catching animal-themed play structures shaped like a fox, a jackrabbit and an owl that are made of 95% recycled plastic lumber.

The completed phase cost $8.6 million. The Fiesta Bowl kicked in $2 million for the playground bearing its name, with the remainder covered by the Phoenix Parks and Preserve Initiative.

“I remember breaking ground 16 months ago here at Hance Park and it’s incredible to see the playground come to life here for our community,” Fiesta Bowl Chairman of the Board Patrick Barkley said in the release.

This week’s playground opening was planned to coincide with the Fiesta Bowl’s 50th anniversary. The annual college football game will be played Jan. 2 at State Farm Stadium without fans in attendance because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego expressed gratitude for the Fiesta Bowl’s donation, which was the first significant contribution to the project, according to the release.

“Their legacy gift jump-started this important renovation of the park, which is crucial to the ongoing revitalization and growth of downtown,” she said in the release.

“It’s also exciting to celebrate this beautiful new playground for what it offers to families: a place for their kids to get outside, jump around and play during this otherwise difficult year. By masking and physically distancing, they can do it safely and have some fun.”

Hance Park covers 32 acres over the Interstate 10 tunnel between Third Avenue and Third Street. Because of its location, it’s also known as Deck Park.

The revitalization project is a public-private partnership. A campaign to raise $45 million in private funding for more phase 1 work is ongoing, according to the release.

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Centerpiece playground opens at Hance Park in downtown Phoenix