The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and its partners, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies, announced on Friday, June 4 that their new spring training facility will be called Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. The new complex is located at 7555 N. Pima Road, and it is the first Major League Baseball spring training facility built on Indian land.
“This morning, both I and Community member Royce Manuel started off the day very early at the spring training facility site, talking to news stations around 4:30 a.m.,” said SRPMIC Vice-President Martin Harvier. TV reporters asked both Harvier and Manuel about the name and logo concept, along with some questions about the facility and how construction is coming along.
Manuel, a Pima artist and calendar stick carver, designed the logo for Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Manuel chose to incorporate a rattlesnake to symbolize the Diamondbacks and a mountain to symbolize the Rockies.
Manuel said it was very exciting to be a part of the experience.
“It feels good to know that I am representing the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community,” he said. “I kept this a secret from my family until the day we announced it on television and they were all very surprised and proud of me.”
Manuel is the keeper of the Community’s Calendar Stick. Manuel said there is one person on every O’odham community.
“I keep track of all the events that happen in the Community and also I keep track of the events that happen in that whole Calendar Stick area of the Community, which is around the Pavilions area,” he said.
The Salt River Fields at Talking Stick name and logo carry multiple meanings of significance to the Community. The logo design represents the scenic mountain ranges that surround the facility and illustrates the role of the rattlesnake in southwestern Native American legend.
The name “Salt River Fields at Talking Stick” defines the location of the new complex and 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, but also recognizes the Community’s rich agricultural history. “Talking Stick” is a historical reference to the traditional Pima calendar stick on which carvers recorded significant events and milestones. The name also extends the “Talking Stick” brand, which already represents the Community’s Talking Stick Golf Club and the new Talking Stick Casino and Resort.
That Friday evening, Harvier, Manuel and his family arrived at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix to unveil the name and logo design on Fox Sports News. They walked onto the field before the game between the D-backs and Rockies and presented information about the facility and the logo, along with Manuel’s own hand-carved calendar stick. The name and logo were featured on the screens during the sixth inning. The D-backs beat the Rockies 7-6, ending a 10-game losing streak.
“Salt River Fields at Talking Stick will offer our guests a unique experience when they see elements of our culture blended with baseball, a great All-American pastime,” said Harvier. “Fans will attend Cactus League games and get a glimpse of our rich heritage and the panoramic desert and mountain landscape that makes the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community a unique location to watch, play and enjoy spring training.”
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is being constructed on a 140-acre site that will be home to an 11,000-seat ballpark, 12 practice fields, as well as Major and Minor League clubhouses, training facilities and offices for each team. It will feature a mix of seating options: 7,000 fixed seats and 4,000 general-admission lawn seats on berms located beyond the outfield fences. It is designed with built-in shade to give fans a very pleasant spring-training experience. The two teams will start spring training at the facility in February 2011.
“We are impressed with the collective representation and presence within the name and logo and look forward to incorporating it in our daily operations related to spring training,” said D-backs President and CEO Derrick Hall. “The mere fact that a name and a logo have been selected is an exciting reminder that the opening is just around the corner. We eagerly await the soon-to-be opportunity to call the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick home with our terrific partners from SRPMIC and the Colorado Rockies.”
“History and tradition have always played a large role in Major League Baseball. Naming the spring training complex for something unique and relevant to the Community and the region is a strong message that history and tradition are important to us and all baseball fans,” said Rockies Executive Vice President of Business Greg Feasel. “We are proud to partner with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.”
For more information about the project, visit www.saltriverfields.com.
Information from SRPMIC Media Relations was used for this story.