Phoenix’s Ak-Chin Pavilion renamed as Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre
Jan 11, 2023, 9:21 AM | Updated: 9:35 am
(Live Nation Photo)
PHOENIX — It might always be Desert Sky Pavilion to longtime Valley residents, but the area’s largest venue dedicated solely to concerts now has yet another new name.
Ak-Chin Pavilion is officially Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre under a naming rights deal announced Wednesday by owner Live Nation.
Talking Stick Resort is back in the name game after sponsoring the downtown Phoenix home of the Suns, now known as Footprint Center, from 2015 to 2020.
“We are proud to have the Talking Stick Resort name associated with a legendary venue where people go to have unforgettable experiences,” Ramon Martinez, director of public relations for the Scottsdale casino and entertainment venue, said in a press release.
The outdoor Phoenix concert facility has hosted some of music’s biggest names since opening near 83rd Avenue and McDowell Road as Desert Sky Pavilion in 1990.
Blockbuster, Cricket Wireless and Ashley Furniture spent time as name-in-title sponsors until the Ak-Chin Indian Community acquired the rights in 2013.
The last show there under the Ak-Chin Pavilion banner was by Phoenix native Stevie Nicks on Nov. 5, 2022. Coincidentally, Nicks’ father owned the defunct Compton Terrace, the Valley’s main outdoor concert venue until Desert Sky Pavilion came along.
Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre seats approximately 20,000 fans, about 8,000 in permanent covered seating and the rest in the expansive lawn area.
As of Wednesday morning, the venue had eight concerts lined up for the 2023 season, starting with the 98KUPD UFEST featuring Godsmack on May 6.
A Sept. 16 performance by country star Eric Church was added to the lineup Wednesday.
“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,” Andy Peikon, senior vice president/head of venue sales for Live Nation, said in the release.