Suns News

Colangelo, Rimsza Flush Out Arena Renovations

More courtside seats, a new scoreboard and a 13,000-square-foot lounge on the inside complement the new-look exterior of renovated America West Arena.
Posted: Oct. 31, 2002

Under normal circumstances, the sight of Phoenix Suns CEO Jerry Colangelo and Phoenix Mayor Skip Rimsza in an America West Arena lady’s room might be a bit unsettling to say the least. Females previously accustomed to waiting in long bathroom lines welcomed their presence on Thursday, however, as the completion of additional ladies restrooms as part of the Arena’s major renovation project was unveiled.

Female employees from the Suns organization participated in a ceremonial simultaneous flush to celebrate the newly completed renovations.

During the ceremony, Colangelo also presented images of the facelift the Arena will be receiving over the next year that will add 70,000 square feet to the building. Besides being partially funded by the City of Phoenix, Rimsza also played a major part in the addition restrooms.

Last year, the mayor and his wife, Kim, attended the Billy Joel and Sir Elton John concert at the AWA. During the four-hour concert, Kim was forced to stand and wait in extremely long lines for the lady’s room causing her to miss much of the event.

Rimsza called for more restrooms stating that women had to miss too many songs waiting in lines that men never had to stand in. During this year’s State of the City Address, he even pledged to increase the number of women’s bathrooms at AWA.

“That’s not fair. It’s not right,” said Rimsza. “Especially when you consider that America West Arena is 50 percent owned by 100 percent of all women in Phoenix.”

The Arena renovation team developed a plan that had this latest project increase the number of women’s bathrooms on the main concourse by 50 percent, virtually ensuring Arena visitors would no longer have to bear long restroom lines.

“There’s no question that you can never have enough or too many facilities in terms of taking care of the ladies,” said Colangelo at the unique news conference in the women’s restroom. “So we’re very happy and very pleased to make this part (of the renovation) a special component of our overall plan relative to America West Arena.”

According to Colangelo, even at just 10-years old, AWA is now the 19th oldest arena in the NBA. He feels these renovations are needed to take care of the Arena’s customers with new amenities and upgrades to the facility.

“We are so excited about what we’ve already accomplished and what is yet to come.”

After Colangelo finished outlining specifics, Rimsza cut toilet paper ribbon and everyone was invited to take part in the inaugural flush. Employees and guests alike took a stall and waited for the count down. On the three-count, the new restroom was filled with loud simultaneous flushes and cheers.

“These improvements are all for our fans, our consumers. The city owns the building and we operate it. It’s a unique partnership,” said Colangelo. “It’s incumbent on us to have a first class facility.”