The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is coming on tour next year to downtown Phoenix. At a news conference Tuesday outside America West Arena, it was announced that the Cleveland-based hall’s first "On Tour" site will open in spring 2005 at the Sun Mercantile Building — currently known as the Phoenix Suns Athletic Club — at 230 S. Third St.
It is immediately east of the arena, which has hosted performances by numerous members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, including Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Simon and Garfunkel, and The Eagles.
The 28,000-square-foot building will host exhibits and traveling collections of artifacts from some of rock ’n’ roll’s greatest performers, giving visitors a taste of what the 150,000-square-foot Hall of Fame and Museum offers at its permanent home in northeast Ohio.
Terry Stewart, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, noted Phoenix bested other cities to earn the first "On Tour" site and the opportunity to exhibit items from the "temple in Cleveland."
The Valley site has a fiveyear commitment from the hall of fame.
"The way we view it is as a starting point," said Paige Peterson, president and general manager of Sports and Entertainment Services, the company that manages Bank One Ballpark, America West Arena and Dodge Theatre.
"Hopefully, it’s a successful venture, and both parties will explore the possibilities for continuing it there or moving someplace bigger and better in Copper Square," Peterson said.
The Sun Mercantile Building is a brick warehouse that was constructed in 1929.
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 and designated a Phoenix historic property in 1987.