Sports & Recreation

Aerial perspective above home plate entry looking back toward the outfield lawn seating.

Salt River Fields Design Unveiled

By Levi Long
Community Relations

New renderings for Salt River Fields at Talking Stick were unveiled this week by the architect and designer of the new Spring Training facility.

Touting its unique architectural design, HKS Architects is calling Salt River Fields a “destination-driven environment,” offering baseball fans an experience unlike any other training facility in the Valley. They also credit the cultures of the Pima and Maricopa tribes for design inspiration.

“We wanted to reinvent the fan experience of spring training by designing a distinctive destination that focuses on fan connectivity to the players while creating a unique environment that embodies the character, values and culture of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks,” said Byron Chambers, director of sports design, HKS Sports & Entertainment Group.

The 140-acre spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies is the first training facility built on Native American land. The complex consists of separate training facilities and clubhouses accommodating each team as well as an 11,000-seat central stadium with a uniquely designed roof structure.

“Our Pima ancestors, the Huhugam, used posts hewn from mesquite trees, with willow and arrowweed branches to build large ramadas that created shade from the hot desert sun,” said SRPMIC President Diane Enos. “These shade structures were important centers for daily life, like cooking, weaving or visiting.

Today, we are taking this ramada to new heights at Salt River Fields with the soaring roof structure that will shade our new stadium.”

The main stadium is at the heart of Salt River Fields, with batting cages, practice fields and clubhouses radiating around it. The site also supports 12 practice fields and dispersed parking for approximately 1,600 cars.

The baseball teams say fans will be able to see players, in action as they practice. The stadium design also offers completely open fan observation areas, allowing glimpses into the players’ daily lives and training routines.

The natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert ecosystem is also integrated into the overall baseball fan experience. The design reflects Arizona’s regional architectural – from the native colors to the natural materials.

“Salt River Fields at Talking Stick integrates our three design goals: allowing fans to be totally immersed in the sport of baseball, incorporating the traditional Native American influence and respecting the regional architectural context,” said Chambers. “Our collaboration with the community, D-backs and Rockies will allow this venue to be the most innovative spring training facility in the nation.”

Located at the Loop 101 and Indian Bend Road Road, Salt River Fields is expected to open in February 2011.

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