Colorado Rockies Spring Training

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SALT RIVER FIELDS AT TALKING STICK
Capacity 11,000
Year Opened 2011
Dimensions 345L, 390LC, 410C, 390RC, 345R
Surface Grass
Local Airport Phoenix
Ticket Prices To be announced
Season Ticket Prices To be announced
Tickets on Sale To be announced
Ticket Line 888/490-0383 or 480/362-WINS (9467)
Ticket Web Site rockies.com
Address 7555 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Directions From Loop 101 (Pima Freeway) northbound: Take exit 44 (Indian Bend Road) and turn left, proceeding west for approximately 0.6 miles. Turn right at North Pima Road. The ballpark will be located on your right. From Loop 101 (Pima Freeway) southbound: Take exit 43 (Via De Ventura) and turn right, proceeding west for approximately 0.8 miles. Turn left at North Pima Road. The ballpark will be located on your left.

Salt River Fields at Talking Stick

Colorado Rockies Spring Training: Excitement in Scottsdale

It’s the only spring-training ballpark to be built on tribal land. It’s also a great place to take in a game, representing the state of the art in spring-training facilities. Unless you’re truly strapped for time or don’t want to venture past a favorite facility, a visit to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick should be on the agenda for anyone visiting Phoenix for Cactus League action.

For decades, the approach to a spring-training facility was pretty static: there was a main ballpark where games were played, maybe with a couple open fields for practices, drills and minor-league workouts. The widely accepted premise was, if it was good enough for Connie Mack at Fort Myers’ Terry Park in 1925, it was good enough for every other MLB team.

But designers of more recent spring-training facilities have walk away from this model; a new goal for architects and team management is to integrate what fans love about spring training – player access, warmer weather, a relaxed atmosphere – with the daily functionality of the complex. The HKS Sports & Entertainment Group first addressed these issues with Camelback Ranch – Glendale, which opened in 2009, and reinvented them at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

That new approach is apparent when fans first approach the complex. Instead of herding fans to one or two ballpark entrances, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick gives them four different and distinct entrances. The ballpark is placed at the center of the complex, allowing fans to meander through practice fields before the game. Large angled roofs provide plenty of shade. The berm is the largest in spring training, providing space for 4,000 fans to do what they really love at spring training: grab a cold one and sprawl out in the sun. Add to that a strong presence from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) – the project hosts – and you have a unique spring-training environment.

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There are some similarities between Camelback Ranch and Salt River Fields. Both place the ballpark in the center of spring action and surround it with training facilities. And both rely on lots of natural finishes and colors.

But Salt River Fields takes the lessons and extends them further with some local touches. There’s plenty of shade in and around the ballpark in the form of ramadas. And there’s no blocky ballpark exterior wall; fences guide your way.

If it sounds like we recommend a visit to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick: We do, wholeheartedly. A trip to the Cactus League wouldn’t be the same without a trip to a Rockies game.

Photo from flickr.com, via Acoustic Dimensions.

Colorado Rockies Spring Training Home | If You Go … | 2015 Schedule | Minor League Schedule