Several months after the groundbreaking of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s Spring Training Facility (STF), home to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, the new facility is beginning to take shape. Recently, Community members and seniors were given two tours of the site, one in April and the other in May.
From Pima Road or the Loop 101 Freeway, it is difficult to picture what the 140-acre site with 12 practice fields and an 11,000-seat stadium will look like. Virginia Loring, Community member, owner of Pimara Construction and Community liaison for the STF project, said, “Work is taking place on the whole site at once. Community member–owned construction companies, Native American businesses and a lot of Community-member employees have been working on a six-day schedule to get the facility built on time.”
During the two tours, buses took Community members and seniors to the STF construction site. “At first it was going to be a tour on foot, but the site is so huge that everyone thought it would be better on buses, and it was also safer too,” said Loring.
The members of the tours saw light poles being installed, portions of the stadium walls going up (the stadium will be about three stories high), and electrical and sewage systems being installed.
The buses also passed by the manmade lake that was built to feed the irrigation system for the ballfields. About 10,000 fish will be stocked into the lake soon; their purpose will be to keep the lake clean by feeding on the algae. The lake stretches out three acres on the west side of the site, near Pima Road, close to the main entrance to the STF. Work began earlier this month on the main entrance, and Pima Road will be closed for a couple of months with lane restrictions as they start widening the road for the entrance.
“We want people to see what is taking place and where the money is going, and to be a part of what is going on. A lot of people have never seen the construction of a baseball stadium,” said Loring. “When you go out there and see what is taking place, then it’s like you become a part of it.”
In the next few weeks, the grass will be brought in and then everyone can better start to visualize the final product.
The STF completion date is January 28, 2011. For more information on the STF, visit www.saltriverfields.com.