Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) partnered with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies to build the award-winning Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, which opened in 2011 as the first Major League Baseball Spring Training facility to be built on Indian land in the nation.
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick includes an 11,000-seat capacity ballpark, a total of 12 practice fields and office buildings that include Major and Minor League clubhouses, training facilities, and offices for each team.
The complex is spread throughout 140 acres of scenic landscape that has unmatched views of Camelback Mountain, the McDowell Mountains, Four Peaks, Red Mountain, and the Superstition Mountains. The stadium design immerses fans in the game of baseball while using Native American influence and regional architecture to offer fans the ultimate Spring Training experience. The design allows fans multiple observation areas, allowing glimpses into the players' daily lives and training routines.
The stadium is at the heart of the complex, with batting cages, practice fields and clubhouses radiating around it. A traditional Native American ramada shade is incorporated into the venue as a way to shade fans from the hot southwestern sun. According to solar path studies conducted by HKS, virtually all fans attending Spring Training games in March and sitting above the cross aisle will be in the shade for the entire game, while approximately 85 percent of the fans in the 7,000 fixed seats will be shaded as the game progresses.
Designed to also serve as a symbol within the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, promoting and encouraging environmental stewardship, the facility earned prestigious LEED Gold Certification for New Construction from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Salt River Fields is the first LEED Gold-certified sports venue of its kind in the United States.
"Everyone told me Salt River Fields was remarkable. It's even better than that."
- Bud Selig, The 9th Commissioner of Baseball
"It is gratifying to see how, in this modern and developed world, the indigenous values of adaptation to the desert and conservation are still strong and vital. Salt River Fields expresses a living connection to our traditional ancestral place in this Valley."
- Diane Enos, Former President of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
"The fascinating part is how Arizona and Colorado have put their own organizational personalities onto their halves of the complex. Salt River Fields redefines state-of-the-art by leaps and bounds. Nothing else comes close to Salt River Fields when it comes to design, functionality, resources, luxuries and sheer size."
- Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated Columnist
"I've never seen anything like this in a major league place, much less a Spring Training facility."
- Joe Torre, Hall of Fame Manager
1. 2011: 7th Annual RED Awards // Most Challenging Project
2. 2011: BaseballParks.com // 12th Annual Ballpark of the Year Award
3. 2011: Digital Ballparks // Ballpark of the Year
4. 2011: Ballpark Digest // Ballpark of the Year
5. 2011: Phoenix New Times // Best of Phoenix // Best Place to See a Spring Training Game
6. 2011: ENR Southwest // Best Sports & Entertainment Project // Best of 2011 Projects
7. 2011: United States Green Building Council // LEED Gold Certification
8. 2011: Recognized in National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum as first MLB facility on Native American land
9. 2012: SportsBusiness Journal // Sports Facility of the Year Finalist
10. 2012: REmmy Awards // Leadership for an Innovative Project
11. 2013: Stadium Journey Magazine // Top Stadium Experiences of the Year
12. 2013: Arizona Foothills Magazine // Best of Our Valley // Best Spring Training Field
13. 2013: Architectural Record Magazine // Good Design is Good Business
14. 2013: Athletic Business Magazine // 26th Annual Architectural Showcase
15. 2013: USGBC Heavy Medal Awards // Community & Transportation Award
16. 2013: Site of first-ever instant replay challenge in MLB history
17. 2013: AZCentral's Best // Best Live Music Venue
18. 2014: Stadium Journey Magazine // Best Cactus League Ballpark
19. 2014: Site of first-ever use of "pitch clock" in MLB history
20. 2014: Arizona Foothills Magazine // Best of Our Valley // Best Spring Training Field
21. 2014: USA Today // 10Best Readers' Choice // Best Spring Training City
22. 2014: Stadium Journey Magazine // Top Stadium Experiences of the Year
23. 2015: Arizona Foothills Magazine // Best of Our Valley // Best Spring Training Field
24. 2015: Arizona Foothills Magazine // Best of Our Valley // Best Culinary Event (Arizona Taco Festival)
25. 2015: TripAdvisor // Certificate of Excellence
26. 2015: Phoenix Magazine // Best of the Valley