If you’re planning to head over to the Barrett-Jackson auto auction at WestWorld next week, you’re sure to notice some big changes. Namely, the main event will take place in the brand-new 130,000-square foot North Hall expansion to the Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center, replacing the tents used in previous years.
The addition of this multi-purpose area is huge for the auction – and for the future of Scottsdale events. We recently spoke with Craig Jackson, president and co-founder of the esteemed auction, and asked him about the importance of WestWorld’s multimillion dollar project, which Barrett-Jackson, the Arabian Horse Association of Arizona and the Arizona Quarter Horse Association all contribute funds to support.
“It secures that Barrett-Jackson will be here in Scottsdale for years to come, first of all,” he says. “But, it also improves the venue for equestrian and other events. Because the new building is climate-controlled, hopefully it will bring more events to Scottsdale in the shoulder and off-seasons as well.”
While Scottsdale’s temperate winter weather is certainly an advantage, and certainly, a big reason that auctions arrive here in January, there have been problems with rain, mud and wind during auction weeks past. The new structure allows most of the vehicles to be moved off of the polo field and onto hard surfaces. Two huge tents will be tied off of the new structure to accommodate additional vehicles.
The new setup also offers practical advantages like permanent restrooms and other amenities, and it has been specifically sound-engineered for the auction. What won’t change is the spectacle of what has become one of Scottsdale’s signature events, with the pomp, celebrity sightings, high-profile vehicles, charitable auctions, automobilia, ride and drives that have earned Barrett-Jackson the superlative title, “The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auction.”
Jackson feels that this year’s selection is among the best ever. “We’ve got 1400 cars at no reserve, and some exciting packages that we’ll be auctioning for charitable organizations like the Armed Forces Foundation and Make-A-Wish,” he says. “People come from around the world for the auction. We’re lucky to have it right here in our backyard, and should take advantage of the opportunity.”
Indeed, the event kicks off on Sunday with Family Value Day benefitting Cox Charities; the invitation-only opening-night gala takes place Monday in the new North Hall. Rock legend Brett Michaels will perform, and actor Billy Baldwin will be on hand to auction off the Ultimate 2015 Super Bowl Experience Package, benefitting the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund.
You can find a list of all the vehicles that will go up for auction, including the two Salon Collections, on Barrett-Jackson’s website, where you’ll also find ticket and schedule information. An unprecedented 40 hours of the auction will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and 2, National Geographic Channel, FOX Broadcast and FOX Business Network.