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Salt River Fields at Talking Stick has had a great first year, setting the all-time MLB Spring Training attendance record and proving itself as a destination for the ultimate baseball experience
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick redefines the baseball experience for fans of all ages. As a spring training facility for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, its 2011 debut unveiled the ultimate baseball destination environment.
The venue’s design provides an immersive baseball fan experience, while reflecting the culture and union of two unique baseball teams and the host, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, which owns and operates Salt River Fields.
The 140 acre venue is the first spring training facility built on Native American land, and serves as a symbol for the community of its heritage, values and reverence for the land. Salt River Fields embraces the beauty of the desert ecosystem, and its design incorporates traditional community building forms. Designed for maximum sustainability of water, energy and shade, it is the first Major League Baseball (MLB) facility or stadium to earn LEED-Gold certification, supporting the MLB’s industry-leading green initiatives.
Located at the middle of the site, the 11,000-seat main stadium (7,000 fixed seats and 4,000 lawn seats in the outfield) provides the central courtyard, much like traditional Hohokam dwellings, from which all spaces and walls evolve. Team facilities radiate from the center, forming a cohesive venue.
Fans enter through four distinct entrances. The third-base entry is dedicated and branded for the D-backs, and the first-base entry for the Rockies. The home base welcomes the Native American community, and the center-field entry symbolises baseball. Fans coming into team entrances immediately interact with players, walking up gently sloping ramps with views of practice fields, covered batting cages and pitching mounds. Fans entering from theest experience the history and traditions of the Community, including a nature path and dance circle. From the east, fans enjoy baseball tradition and public activities on the public plaza.
In its first season, Salt River Fields set the all-time MLB Spring Training attendance record, drawing 359,308 fans. The D-backs were baseball’s top attendance draw, averaging 11,161 fans in 17 games. The Rockies gained the third-best average attendance (10,598), doubling their spring training attendance over 2010.
Both teams programme year-round baseball operations, including Extended Spring Training, Arizona League, Fall Instructional League, Arizona Fall League and yearlong physical rehabilitation.
This ballpark has broken the mold of a traditional Major League Baseball spring training facility, operating 365 days a year and incorporating successful events in addition to MLB operations. The complex hosted 150,000 additional attendees for varied public and corporate events. More than 150,000 players, coaches and family members participated in ongoing leagues and tournament play, as well.
Ballparkdigest.com, Baseballparks.com, and Digitalballparks.com honored Salt River Fields at Talking Stick as 2011 Ballpark of the Year. Engineering News Record named it Southwest 2011 Sports Project of the Year.
While setting a new standard for MLB spring training facilities, Salt River Fields – through critical acclaim, sustainability, community use and fan delight – hit a home run with the bases loaded during its first year.
HKS inc. will be exhibiting at Stadia Design & Technology Expo 2012, 8-10 May 2012. Visit the company at Booths 2042 and 3042.