With the words “play ball” announced by Dodger Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, the cities of Glendale and Phoenix broke ground on the Cactus League’s newest Spring Training facility. In addition to Mr. Scully, dignitaries on hand for the much anticipated event included Governor Janet Napolitano, Mayor Scruggs and Mayor Gordon, Dodger Owners and Chairman Frank McCourt, Dodger Vice Chairman and President Jamie McCourt, Chicago White Sox Owner Jerry Reinsdorf, Dodger Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrín, Dodger broadcaster Charley Steiner and White Sox General Manager Ken Williams.
(Select the renderings to see in high resolution)
The facilities will be shared between the Dodgers and White Sox.
A festive atmosphere, including hot dogs from Glendale ’s Dazzo’s Dog House and a seventh-inning stretch marked the start of construction for the facility. Members of the Arrowhead Little League also passed out commemorative baseballs and dignitaries officially broke ground in a ceremonial shovel dig.
Located just across the Loop 101 from Glendale ’s Sports and Entertainment District, the site is located at 111th Avenue, west of the Loop 101 between Camelback Road and Glendale Avenue , and reaches across both Glendale and Phoenix city borders. The two-team facility will be the new home to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox, and in addition to state-of-the-art baseball facilities, the site will include, residential, restaurant and retail development, 4-star hotel and 18-hole golf course, developed by Rightpath Limited Development Group.
The Dodgers claim that based on a 2006 Economic Impact Study conducted by Economic Research Associates (ERA), it is estimated that moving the Dodgers and White Sox will have a substantial economic impact for Glendale , Phoenix and the region. The exceptionally rosy claim is an anticipated economic impact for the region that could be as much as $19 million per year.
Details of the project are as follows:
- * The 10,000-seat stadium, with 3,000 lawn seats will cost approximately $76 million to build.
- The Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority will provide 2/3 of the funding needed to construct the facility.
- 118,000 sq. feet of Major and minor league clubhouses for the two teams
- Four Major League practice fields
- Eight minor league practice fields
- Two practice infields
- The site will include parking to accommodate 5,000 vehicles.
* Some reports have the cost as high as $80.7 million
As reported by MLB.com:
The remaining one-third is being funded by Glendale based on sales taxes and other revenues from a mixed-use project near the ballpark developed by Rightpath Development Group that will include residential and retail space, as well as a hotel and golf course. Five-hundred acres are being developed in total.
The big question will be, can it be completed by the projected 2009 opening date? With a short 15 months to do so, developer M.A. Mortenson Co. is expected to release a final construction schedule, including anticipated completion date, by mid-December.
If that were indeed the case, this upcoming Spring Training will be last at historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida.
(Images courtesy of the Los Angeles Dodgers and HKS Architecture)
Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available writer for other media outlets.
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