Hot off the presses. Here's the official release, thanks to Mike for the heads-up
The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to partner with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball teams to build a new spring training facility on Community land. It is the first Major League spring training facility in the U.S. to be built on Indian land.
According to the MOU, the Community will fund, build and operate a two team spring training Major League Baseball facility. The agreement is for 25 years with options to extend. The multipurpose facility includes an 11,000-seat capacity ballpark, a total of 12 practice fields and office buildings that will include Major and Minor League clubhouses, training facilities, and offices for each team. The site is near Indian Bend Road and the 101 Freeway. It encompasses 140 acres of scenic landscape that has unmatched views of Camelback Mountain, the McDowell Mountains, Four Peaks, Red Mountain, and the Superstition Mountains.
More from the press release:
"Our ancestors built ball courts on this land and throughout the valley," said SRPMIC President Diane Enos. "Now we are excited about ‘bringing baseball home’ to our Community. It will add to the enjoyment of our members, Arizona residents and visitors to our state. This multipurpose facility is an ideal match for the vision of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community as we develop land along our western commercial corridor."
The Community and the teams will make joint decisions on the design elements for the facility. HKS Architects, which recently designed Glendale’s Camelback Ranch facility for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox and Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, is the architectural firm that is designing the new facility which will be ready for Cactus League exhibition games in 2011.
"We are certainly excited that we have come to an agreement on our future spring training home with a wonderful Community," said D-backs’ President and CEO Derrick Hall. "We have had several interested parties and sites, but ultimately found this site to be superb. This will prove to be the finest and most fan-friendly complex in all of baseball, with the most accessible location that features the Valley’s most breathtaking views in existence. We look forward to sharing more details and plans with a more ceremonial media announcement and setting next week."
"We’re excited to partner with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the Arizona Diamondbacks," said Rockies’ President Keli McGregor. "We know that this shared home will be one of the finest year-round training facilities in all of Major League Baseball and something that our organizations, fans and the Community will be proud of for decades to come."
Bounded by the cities of Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa and Fountain Hills, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community encompasses 52,600 acres, with 19,000 held as a natural preserve. With two distinct backgrounds and cultures, the Community is comprised of two Native American tribes: the Pima, "Akimel O’Odham" (River People) and the Maricopa, "Xalychidom Piipaash" (People who live toward the water). The Community proudly owns and operates several successful enterprises including Salt River Sand & Rock, Phoenix Cement Co., Talking Stick Golf Club, Salt River Financial Services, Saddleback Communications, Salt River Devco, Casino Arizona at Salt River and Salt River Landfill.