A History of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
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- On March 27, 2009: The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community submitted a proposal to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies to build the teams a new home for Spring Training on the Community. If accepted, this would be the first major league Spring Training facility built on tribal land.
- July 16, 2009: The Community announced that it had signed a Memo of Understanding with the teams to pursue building this project.
- July 23, 2009: The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies announced the location for the new Spring Training facility on Community land. The location, at Indian Bend and Pima Road, is served by two major freeways and is minutes away from Sky Harbor Airport and Scottsdale Airport.
- November 16, 2009: In a formal ceremony, ground was broken to construct the newest enterprise of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Designed by HKS architects, the Spring Training facility would be built by Mortenson Construction.
- June 4, 2010: The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies announce that the new facility will be called Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. It joins Talking Stick Golf Club and Talking Stick Resort as the latest entertainment venue in the Community's Talking Stick brand.
- July 23, 2010: The final pieces of structural steel were added to the roofs of the D-backs and Rockies clubhouses, respectively, and were celebrated in a traditional topping-off ceremony.
- February 11, 2011: The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community dedicates the opening of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in a ceremony open to the public.
- February 14, 2011: Arizona Diamondbacks pitchers and catchers participate in the first ever workout at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Thousands of fans are in attendance to witness this historic day in D-backs history.
- February 19, 2011: The first full-squad workout in Salt River Fields at Talking Stick history takes place as all pitchers and position players arrive at the player development complex to begin preparations for the 2011 season. Prior to the workout, Navy SEALS address the players and coaches in the D-backs Major League clubhouse.
- February 26, 2011: The Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks compete in the first ever Cactus League game played at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. A sellout crowd of 12,514 is on hand to witness the historic event, which includes a National Anthem sung by the Salt River Elementary and High School Choir and a flyover by five World War II Stearman Biplanes.
- March 29, 2011: The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies announce that Salt River Fields at Talking Stick shattered the all-time Major League Baseball Spring Training attendance record by drawing 359,308 during the Cactus League exhibition season. The previous attendance record was held by the Peoria Sports Complex, where 230,146 fans attended San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners games in 2008. The D-backs' attendance of 189,737 shattered the club record of 136,940 fans set in Tucson in 2002 following the club's 2001 World Series win. The D-backs average Spring Training attendance of 11,161 was also the top average attendance in MLB for 2011.
- June 27, 2011: The US Green Building Council announces that Salt River Fields at Talking Stick has received LEED Gold Certification for New Construction. The facility is the first LEED certified Spring Training complex ever built.
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Quick Facts
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Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) partnered with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies to build the award-winning Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, which opened in 2011 as the first Major League Baseball Spring Training facility to be built on Indian land in the nation.
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick includes an 11,000-seat capacity ballpark, a total of 12 practice fields and office buildings that include Major and Minor League clubhouses, training facilities, and offices for each team.
The complex is spread throughout 140 acres of scenic landscape that has unmatched views of Camelback Mountain, the McDowell Mountains, Four Peaks, Red Mountain, and the Superstition Mountains. The stadium design immerses fans in the game of baseball while using Native American influence and regional architecture to offer fans the ultimate Spring Training experience. The design allows fans multiple observation areas, allowing glimpses into the players' daily lives and training routines.
The stadium is at the heart of the complex, with batting cages, practice fields and clubhouses radiating around it. A traditional Native American ramada shade is incorporated into the venue as a way to shade fans from the hot southwestern sun. According to solar path studies conducted by HKS, virtually all fans attending Spring Training games in March and sitting above the cross aisle will be in the shade for the entire game, while approximately 85 percent of the fans in the 7,000 fixed seats will be shaded as the game progresses.
Designed to also serve as a symbol within the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, promoting and encouraging environmental stewardship, the facility earned prestigious LEED Gold Certification for New Construction from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Salt River Fields is the first LEED Gold-certified sports venue of its kind in the United States.
- Architect: HKS (AT&T Stadium, Camelback Ranch, Minnesota Multi-Purpose Stadium, Phoenix Children's Hospital)
- Contractor: Mortenson Construction (Camelback Ranch, Coors Field, Target Field, SunTrust Park - new Braves stadium)
- Groundbreaking: November 16, 2009
- Construction Duration: 14 months
- First Official Game: February 26, 2011 (D-backs vs. Rockies)
Stadium Name & Logo Development
- The name Salt River Fields at Talking Stick defines the location of the Spring Training complex and speaks to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community's cultural heritage
- "Salt River Fields" alerts baseball fans that they are visiting the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
- "Fields" refers to the 12 practice fields located within the facility and also the Community's rich agricultural history
- "Talking Stick" is a historical reference to the traditional Pima calendar stick on which carvers recorded historical events and milestones
- The Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Logo was designed by local Pima artist Royce Manual and refined by Dallas-based design firm, FocusEGd. Manuel incorporated a rattlesnake to symbolize the Arizona Diamondbacks and the role the rattlesnake plays in Native American legend. The logo emphasizes a mountain to symbolize the Colorado Rockies and the scenic mountain ranges that surround Salt River Fields.
Features & Attractions
- Pepsi Patio - unique rooftop hospitality space with 360-degree view located above press box
- Miller Lite Loft / Coors Light Cold Zone - large hospitality space located on 3B/1B sides of press level
- Cold Stone Kids Fun Field - free whiffle ball field located down RF concourse
- D-backs LF Autograph Station - free autographs from two players prior to each D-backs home game
- Scoreboard - High-definition 24 X 48 foot high video board featuring LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology, one of the largest boards at any Spring Training facility in baseball
Attendance Highlights: Through 2016
- SRF & ARI Record Crowd: KC vs ARI // March 12, 2016 // 13,514
- COL Record Crowd: SF vs. COL // March 20, 2016 // 13,236
- 369,393 fans (2012) is the MLB record for total complex attendance
- SRF total attendance marks #1 in MLB since opening in 2011
- Only MLB complex to ever welcome over 300,000 fans in a season (done six times)
- 115 sellouts in six seasons
- Arizona Fall League (Salt River Rafters)
- 2011 MLB All-Star Game Jr. RBI Classic and Fantasy Camp
- 2013 World Baseball Classic (Team USA Workouts and Game 1 (Mexico vs. Italy))
- 2014 AIA Baseball State Championship (Divisions I & II)
- Concerts by Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker, Brantley Gilbert, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers, Phillip Phillips
- Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game (2012) & Fall Stars Game (2014-2015)
"Everyone told me Salt River Fields was remarkable. It's even better than that."
- Bud Selig
The 9th Commissioner of Baseball
"It is gratifying to see how, in this modern and developed world, the indigenous values of adaptation to the desert and conservation are still strong and vital. Salt River Fields expresses a living connection to our traditional ancestral place in this Valley."
- Diane Enos
Former President of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
"The fascinating part is how Arizona and Colorado have put their own organizational personalities onto their halves of the complex. Salt River Fields redefines state-of-the-art by leaps and bounds. Nothing else comes close to Salt River Fields when it comes to design, functionality, resources, luxuries and sheer size."
- Tom Verducci
Sports Illustrated Columnist
"I've never seen anything like this in a major league place, much less a Spring Training facility."
- Joe Torre
Hall of Fame Manager
1. 2011 - 7th Annual RED Awards // Most Challenging Project
2. 2011 - BaseballParks.com // 12th Annual Ballpark of the Year Award
3. 2011 - Digital Ballparks // Ballpark of the Year
4. 2011 - Ballpark Digest // Ballpark of the Year
5. 2011 - Phoenix New Times // Best of Phoenix // Best Place to See a Spring Training Game
6. 2011 - ENR Southwest // Best Sports & Entertainment Project // Best of 2011 Projects
7. 2011 - United States Green Building Council // LEED Gold Certification
8. 2011 - Recognized in National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum as first MLB facility on Native American land
9. 2012 - SportsBusiness Journal // Sports Facility of the Year Finalist
10. 2012 - REmmy Awards // Leadership for an Innovative Project
11. 2013 - Stadium Journey Magazine // Top Stadium Experiences of the Year
12. 2013 - Arizona Foothills Magazine // Best of Our Valley // Best Spring Training Field
13. 2013 - Architectural Record Magazine // Good Design is Good Business
14. 2013 - Athletic Business Magazine // 26th Annual Architectural Showcase
15. 2013 - USGBC Heavy Medal Awards // Community & Transportation Award
16. 2013 - Site of first-ever instant replay challenge in MLB history
17. 2013 - AZCentral's Best // Best Live Music Venue
18. 2014 - Stadium Journey Magazine // Best Cactus League Ballpark
19. 2014 - Site of first-ever use of "pitch clock" in MLB history
20. 2014 - Arizona Foothills Magazine // Best of Our Valley // Best Spring Training Field
21. 2014 - USA Today // 10Best Readers' Choice // Best Spring Training City
22. 2014 - Stadium Journey Magazine // Top Stadium Experiences of the Year
23. 2015 - Arizona Foothills Magazine // Best of Our Valley // Best Spring Training Field
24. 2015 - Arizona Foothills Magazine // Best of Our Valley // Best Culinary Event (Arizona Taco Festival)
25. 2015 - TripAdvisor // Certificate of Excellence
26. 2015 - Phoenix Magazine // Best of the Valley
27. 2016 - Phoenix New Times // Best of Phoenix // Best Place to See a Spring Training Game
28. 2016 - Arizona Foothills Magazine // Best of Our Valley // Best Spring Training Field
29. 2016 - Sports on Earth // Best Spring Training Destination
30. 2016 - Concierges Magazine // #1 Spring Training Facility
31. 2016 - Ballpark Digest // Best Cactus League Ballpark
32. 2016 - Best Food Truck Festivals // Top 10 Event of 2016