Diamondbacks Announce Spring Training Facility Name

On March 30th of this year the Arizona Diamondbacks said farewell to their Spring Training facility located in Tucson Arizona. Tucson Electric Park had been their home since 1998 when the team came into existence. In a well documented story, the city of Tucson saw Spring Training disappear from the local landscape after the Chicago White Sox left for McDowell Ranch two years ago.

The departure of the White Sox started a domino of events where the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks exercised clauses in their leases terminating them if fewer than three teams were located in Tucson.

Last November the Arizona Diamondbacks along with the Colorado Rockies broke ground on a new Spring Training complex located in Scottsdale off the 101 freeway near Indian Bend. Construction continues with the facility to be available when pitchers and catchers report in February 2011.

With mounds of dirt being moved and a flurry of workers building the infrastructure for the stadium and the accompanying practice facilities, the construction site has been going non-stop for several months. Officials are still confident that construction will remain on track with the weather cooperating providing ample sunshine and daylight to let work continue.

Now with just over six months before coaches and players will report, the Arizona Diamondbacks in conjunction with the Colorado Rockies and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) announced the new training facility has an official name.

The new Spring Training home for the Arizona Diamondbacks will be called Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. The complex located at 7555 N. Pima Road is located on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, a first for Major League Baseball.

With the new name, tribal officials hope to build public awareness of the cultural significance of the location. Salt River Fields is to remind the visitors that they are within the Salt River Indian Community. The significance of “Fields” is a reminder that the complex is not just the Spring Training stadium but also includes the 12 practice fields that are used by the Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies.

The term talking stick is a reference to the traditional Pima calendar stick where carvers would mark significant events and milestones when they occurred. This reference has special significance as it records the first time a Major League Spring Training facility has been built on Indian land.

With the Spring Training complex now having a name, baseball fans can wait and watch as construction workers carve out a baseball oasis in the Arizona desert. It will not be long before the sounds of balls hitting a leather mitt and the crack of the bat permeate the newest venue in the Cactus League.

And when that first pitch is thrown at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, hopefully there will be someone there to carve this momentous occasion on a calendar stick.


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