A Place to Dine, Drink and Do Business
By Steve Rivera
Brenda Baca had heard a lot about the Arizona Sands Club, a private business club housed in Arizona Stadium on the University of Arizona campus. So she joined to see if the good reviews were true.
“I decided to become a member after attending a few networking functions,” said Baca, CEO and designated broker of real estate firm Arizona Housing Solutions. “I really liked the way they promote business growth by networking and building relationships with other members. It’s been a fun place to meet clients – being that it’s inside Arizona Stadium with the backdrop of the football field. It’s impressive.”
More than 800 businessmen and women have become members since registration launched last summer, easily surpassing membership growth rates at the other four similar properties around the country.
ClubCorp set a goal of more than 500 in its initial membership for Arizona Sands Club and picked up more than 600 by Nov. 1. The aim is to get near 1,500 members by the end of 2021.
UArizona joins University of Texas at Austin and Baylor, Texas Tech and Florida State universities as ClubCorp’s stock of stadium clubs. ClubCorp, which owns over 200 properties, also operates the Oro Valley Country Club.
ClubCorp invested $4.5 million into renovations atop the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility at the stadium that had been exclusive for game ticket holders and athletic boosters. The once open space was transformed into a dining, drinking and socializing spot with a contemporary industrial vibe. Capacity for the 18,000-square-foot area – completed by JE Dunn Construction Company – is about 600 members for one event.
It also has amenities for businesses, including meeting space and services, equipment and videoconferencing facilities.
General Manager Scott Goldberg said the club is a “win-win” as a space for the community and UArizona to enjoy. Great views, extensive food selections and a full bar set the stage for spacious gathering spots for work – privately and collaboratively – and play.
“Our main attraction is the restaurant and our ability to produce a great experience,” said Matthew Hogg, Arizona Sands Club executive chef. “So, it is not just the great food, it’s also the service, the relationships we build and the home away from home atmosphere that we strive to deliver.”
While membership makes Arizona Sands Club private, it’s open to other users. “We are a community space,” said Adam Begody, director of member services. “You don’t have to be a member to reserve the space.” That includes nonprofits and other groups.
“The goal for us is to be a big community partner,” he said. “We want this space to be inclusive, approachable and a reflection of our community.” Arizona Sands Club is also committed to using local vendors for its products and food.
The club, with views of the Santa Catalina Mountains and the expansive stadium, is already attracting the college community. The UArizona men’s and women’s basketball teams eat there often, as does UArizona President Dr. Robert C. Robbins.
“What they’ve done with the re-do on the inside is tremendous, and the food is absolutely fantastic,” Robbins said. “It gives us a new option on campus for events and for our faculty. And that’s something we’ve been working on for a long time.”
Goldberg said plans are already in the works for comedy shows on the weekends, live music and other scheduled entertainment.
“I hope it continues to grow and exceeds everyone’s expectations,” he said. “ I want it to be an extension of athletics and faculty where it’s a country club without the golf course. I want it for everybody.”
Arizona Sands Club
Membership at a Glance
Six membership levels with monthly dues from $30 to $400. All levels provide the following benefits:
• Complimentary Continental Breakfast
• Complimentary Hospitality Station
• Complimentary “Chef’s Choice” Community Hour
• Complimentary Game-Day Tailgate Experience with live music, food, drinks and entertainment at each Arizona home football game.
• Member programming that includes access to Bear Down Kitchen
Most members may add O.N.E.(Optimal Network Experiences) for $50 more per month. It provides 50% off á la carte dining at Arizona Sands Club, complimentary golf and dining at ClubCorp locations, plus special offerings at more than 700 hotels, resorts and entertainment venues.
Courtney Miller (520) 955-2479 Courtney.Miller@ClubCorp.com
Joseph Erceg (520) 471-3708 Joseph.Erceg@ClubCorp.com