Unlike Anything on Earth
Sportsplex was the attempted redevelopment of the failed 450,000 square-foot Scottsdale Galleria specialty mall into an entertainment and lifestyle center targeted to active Arizona lifestyles.
The Scottsdale Galleria was conceived in 1983 as a high-end, unanchored, specialty center. Located at the "100%" retail location for Arizona (the northeast corner of Scottsdale Road and Fifth Avenue, a block from Scottsdale Road and Camelback), the Galleria comprised two buildings -- the 370,000 square foot "Atrium" building and the adjacent 80,000 square foot "Fifth Avenue" building -- connected by a 60-foot-wide sky bridge walkway. The Atrium building enclosed 4 levels of retail shops built around an 80-foot high, sky-lit atrium with glass elevators and double banks of escalators.
The Gordon Company, developer of the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas (regarded as the most successful retail center in North America), acquired the Galleria in 1994 with a plan was to create an entertainment and lifestyle center unlike anything previously developed. Sportsplex was to be a sporting goods shopping Mecca with venues, designed at a level similar to a Disney theme park, to try virtually every product sold within the center. The venues were more than just opportunities to participate - fundamental to the design was that each venue provided spectator opportunities. Health and wellness from sports medicine clinics to training facilities were planned to be an integral part of the project. Central to the entire facility was an arena with a performance floor capable of hosting ice hockey, tennis, basketball, competitive events, clinics, demonstrations, and more.
Richard Biegel was the Director of Development for Sportsplex and responsible for overseeing the redevelopment, specifically all on-site development activities including management of the existing property, public relations, negotiation with the City of Scottsdale for the acquisition of the necessary entitlements and condemnation of adjacent property.