Cover Story

.Families get comfortable on Polly the Trolley as it takes them around the Salt River Fields property during an evening tour of the facility’s progress on September 14.
Photo by Richie Corrales

Salt River Fields on Track for Completion in 126 Days

By Richie Corrales
Au-Authm Action News

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members got another glimpse of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on the evening of September 14.

Seniors of the Community were the first to tour the facility, followed by Community members who rode on trolleys that toured the property. Everyone was shown the future main entrance as they rode down a new road that completely encircles the facility. About four trips were made with the trolleys to and from the facility.

The tour started at one of the entranceways where visitors will enter the facility from the north, then drove past the main field, where everyone saw swing-shift workers busy on the job. There are about 900 day-shift workers and 100 swing-shift workers who are working at Salt River Fields six days a week, and the project is expected to be completed right on time for the 2011 spring training season. There was still a lot of construction taking place throughout the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks fields, but everyone got a picture of where the practice fields, clubhouses, and batting cages are located for both teams.

Some people expressed concern about the dirt roads, tractors, hills of sand and walls still being built, but according to the Mortenson Construction staff, everything is right on schedule.

Seniors on the tour asked several questions, including whether handicapped parking would be close to the main field. They also asked about ramps and shuttles. As the tour progressed seniors were able see where the handicapped parking would be and learned that there would be ramps and shuttles.

“I have been building these types of facilities for over 30 years and this couldn’t be a better investment for the Community to have right on the Corridor,” said Bryce Meckle, senior superintendent for Mortenson Construction.

Even with all the construction taking place, the tour gave Community members a better picture of what Salt River Fields at Talking Stick will look like. The next tour is planned during the final stages in finishing up the facility, and there will be tours of the finished facility right before opening day.

In the upcoming weeks, the staff said that 7,000-plus seats are due to be installed in the main stadium.

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