Salt River Fields at Talking Stick

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Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
Salt River Fields - 2011-02-23 - Home Base Entry.JPG
The main entry to the stadium behind home plate.
Full name Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
Location 7555 N. Pima Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
PH# 480-270-5000
Coordinates 33°32′46″N 111°53′7″W / 33.54611°N 111.88528°W / 33.54611; -111.88528Coordinates: 33°32′46″N 111°53′7″W / 33.54611°N 111.88528°W / 33.54611; -111.88528
Broke ground November 17, 2009
Opened Grand Opening February 11, 2011
First game February 26, 2011
Owner Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
Surface Bermuda Grass
Construction cost $100 million
($105 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect HKS, Inc.
General contractor Mortenson Construction
Capacity 11,000
Record attendance 12,996
March 16, 2014
Field size Left Field - 345 feet (105 m)
Left-Center - 390 feet (119 m)
Center Field - 410 feet (125 m)
Right-Center - 390 feet (119 m)
Right Field - 345 feet (105 m)[2]
Acreage 140 acres
Website www.saltriverfields.com
Tenants
Colorado Rockies (MLB) (spring training) (2011–present)
Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB) (spring training) (2011–present)

Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is a stadium complex located in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community near Scottsdale, Arizona, at the former site of the Indian Bend Country Club. It is the newest Major League Baseball spring training facility home for the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies. The new facility replaces Tucson Electric Park for the Diamondbacks and Hi Corbett Field for the Rockies previous spring training facilities. The complex represents the first MLB park to be built on Native American Indian land.[3]

History[edit]

Batting cages for the Colorado Rockies.
The stream leading to the lake at Salt River Fields.

In 2009 after the Chicago White Sox moved their spring training facilities from Tucson to Phoenix, the Diamondbacks and Rockies expressed their desire to leave Tucson. The teams began negotiations with multiple valley cities and Indian communities, with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community coming out on top with a 20-year commitment from the teams to the facility. Construction began on November 17, 2009 with an aggressive fast tracked schedule to get the stadium done by the 2011 spring training season.[4]

The field turf is made up of a specially engineered Tifway 419 Bermuda Grass grown in Eloy, Arizona.[5] There are 7,000 fixed seats in the grandstand and 4,000 lawn seats for a total estimated seating capacity of 11,000, but March 24, 2013 drew a crowd given as 12,864. Luxury suites, three party pavilions, and a kids zone are further amenities. Each team has a 85,000-square-foot (7,900 m2) clubhouse (with offices, fitness, and locker rooms), six full size practice fields (one with the same dimensions as the respective teams home stadium), two infield only practice diamonds, batting cages.[6] The Diamondbacks occupy the facilities along the left field and the Rockies are in the right field area. Several points of access to the stadium bring visitors in right through the middle of the practice fields and batting facilities. Additionally the complex also boasts two lit soccer fields and a three acre man made lake which is home to 17,000 fish.[7]

The stadium was completed on time, with the first game being played between the Diamondbacks and Rockies on February 26, 2011. The ceremonial first pitch was delivered by Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Tribal President Diane Enos and Vice President Martin Harvier. The National Anthem was performed by Salt River Elementary School choir. The Rockies won the first game 8-7 after 10 innings of play.[8] It has opened to rave reviews from the athletes, fans, and critics.[9] Major league Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said "Everyone told me it was remarkable. It's even better than that."[8]

According to the Arizona Republic, the Cactus League generates more than $300 million a year in economic impact to the greater Phoenix metropolitan area economy. The new Salt River Fields at Talking Stick complex is the latest of eight new stadiums built in the Valley of the Sun over the past 20 years. The Arizona Republic newspaper reports that more than $500 million has been spent on “building eight new stadiums and renovating two others for the 15 teams in the Valley.”[8]

Attendance set a new record at 2011 Cactus League games with 1.59 million attending games at the various stadiums in the Phoenix metro area. Much of the attendance surge is attributed to the new Salt Rivers Fields at Talking Stick venue that accounted for 22 percent of the Cactus League attendance.[10] In the inaugural spring training season at the park, the Arizona Diamondbacks enjoyed a record-breaking 189,737 spectators at 17 spring training games, with an average of 11,161 spectators per game, up more than 90 percent from 2010.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ Peter Corbett (2010-08-16). "Design of Arizona Diamondbacks' new spring stadium seeks to immerse fans in baseball". Arizona Republic. 
  3. ^ “Salt River Fields to Host MLB Spring Training.” Laskaris February 14, 2011.
  4. ^ Peter Corbett (2009-03-06). "Tribe making pitch for D-Backs facility". Arizona Republic. 
  5. ^ Peter Corbett (2010-07-02). "Grass grows, lights up at Salt River Fields". Arizona Republic. 
  6. ^ "Salt River Fields by the numbers". Arizona Republic. 2011-01-19. 
  7. ^ "Thousands of Fish Find Home at Salt River Fields". 2010-06-24. 
  8. ^ a b c Peter Corbett (2011-02-27). "Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies break in new park". Arizona Republic. 
  9. ^ Scott Bordow (2011-02-26). "Bordow: Salt River Fields lives up to billing". Arizona Republic. 
  10. ^ Peter Corbett (2011-03-30). "New venue helps Cactus League set attendance mark". Arizona Republic. 
  11. ^ Bob McManaman (2011-03-29). "Arizona Diamondbacks wrap up record spring at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick". Arizona Republic. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Tucson Electric Park
Home of the
Arizona Diamondbacks Spring Training

2011 – present
Succeeded by
Current
Preceded by
Hi Corbett Field
Home of the
Colorado Rockies Spring Training

2011 – present
Succeeded by
Current