Progress at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is rapid these days, with steel framing at the main field now giving baseball fans a glimpse of what will soon be the new stadium at the spring training facility. Recently, sixteen 100-foot light poles were installed around two of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies practice fields, adding to the visual impression that there soon will be baseball fields north of the Scottsdale Pavilions and west of the Loop 101 Freeway.
On June 30, crews began laying sod, starting with the six Rockies fields on the southwest corner of the site and then moving on to the Diamondbacks fields.
More than 92,000 square feet of sod will be put down; the grass variety selected is Tifway 419 Bermuda, the most rugged of all hybrid Bermuda grasses and one that is commonly used on sports fields. According to the experts, it has a very dense, medium-fine leaf texture, grows aggressively, has an excellent wear tolerance, and thrives in full sun.
Crews won’t lay grass on the main baseball field until early December, when the spring training facility is near completion, to avoid damage from all of the construction vehicles that still need to be on the field to work on that site.
The process of laying the grass takes five workers to roll the sod down on the field like gigantic rolls of carpet, plus one worker on a fork lift, two in front guiding the driver, and two behind with pitchforks poking holes in the grass once it is laid.
The rolls are about 115 feet long when completely rolled out. Laying the grass on all the fields will take several months to complete; it’s a three-day process to finish one field.
The grass for Salt River Fields at Talking Stick was grown on a sod farm, West Coast Turf, and brought in from Eloy.