WestWorld of Scottsdale Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center

Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona, has long been home to WestWorld, one of the nation’s premier equestrian sport and event complexes that hosts events including the original Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction and the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. Our equestrian group has been involved with the continuing renovation of the site, including the original master plan led by Todd Gralla. In early 2010, Westworld set out to modernize and expand the Equidome, now known as the Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center, with a $56-million renovation that includes the addition of climate-controlled multi-use floor for stalls, arenas or trade booths, an indoor warm-up ring, suites, party rooms and enhanced spectator amenities, the likes of which are a rarity at equestrian venues.

The challenges were numerous for the design team. They were dealing with an existing steel structure that was to be essentially kept intact to save time and money. Meanwhile, designers were required to devise a plan for the facility to be fully functional and operate for the entirety of the two-year renovation process. In addition, the design team had to carefully consider how to reconfigure the existing venue to ensure space for updated fan amenities crucial to revenue generation, including new suites, party rooms and foodservice, without making changes to the existing seating bowl or reducing seating capacity. The renovated WestWorld of Scottsdale Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center is among the elite equestrian venues in the nation and draws some of the nation’s most prestigious equestrian events, trade shows, and auto shows to Scottsdale.