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FEATURE — SPRING TRAINING FACILITIES
SPRINGTRAINING
IMAGE: NEIL KOPPES
that time. In 2003, Arte Moreno, owner of the then with reimbursements to the City to begin in 2017; a
Anaheim [CA] Angels approached us about building on twenty-year use agreement with the Indians, renewable
his property at Estrella and Yuma. The City worked on for two five-year periods, with the City managing and
negotiations with the team and the Arizona Sports & maintaining the facility for the team, which pays
Tourism Authority, and in 2004 the public solidly US$100,000 per year rent for a minimum fourteen
approved the sale of US$10m in bonds to help finance games, adjusted for CPI; JMI as Development Manager;
the project. But the Angels decided to renew their con- Rose Properties, now Civica, for infrastructure — with
tract with Tempe [AZ] and not to relocate. US$10m from the City — land conveyance and the zon-
“Working on this project really solidified Goodyear’s ing/development agreement; HOK Sport Venue Event
desire to continue its pursuit of bringing Major League (now Populous), as architect and designer; and Barton
Baseball spring training to our city, and in 2005 we Malow, as construction firm.
sent information packets out to thirteen teams in the “We realised our initial goal of a two-team facility
Grapefruit League, but got very little interest. We then after agreeing to wait a year, when the Reds
looked at a larger concept, and in 2006 got three sub- approached us to tour the area when in town in Janu-
mittals to a proposal for land/sites for a proposed recre- ary 2008 for the MLB owner meetings. The site and
ation campus. That March the Wood Family location plans ‘knocked their socks off’ and we had to work
was selected with ‘a ballpark like no other’ as the cata- fast to negotiate a 46-acre property option with the
lyst to develop City Center. In partnership with Civica Wood Family for about US$3.75m for a team club-
Development, the full build-out within three square house, practice fields and agility field that would be
miles has four to five million square feet currently in similar to the Indians’ facilities. We signed a memoran-
design, including retail, hospitality and employment, dum of understanding with the Reds that April and
with universities to be locating just northwest of the they officially occupied their facilities this October. We
project area. have an operating agreement similar to that with the
“The City had signed JMI Sports, with good con- Indians, and both teams will share the complex for the
nections to Major League Baseball, as project develop- 2010 spring training season.”
ment consultant, but still needed a team. That spring,
our Mayor golfed with an ‘Indians connection’ and Populous Ballpark Plans
that May our project team went to Cleveland to pitch “The design of Goodyear’s new spring training ballpark
the ballpark to the Dolan family, the team owner. The is unique to the City, the Cleveland Indians and the
Indians sent their CFO and attorney who were very Cincinnati Reds,” noted David Bower, Principal and
impressed with our growth trend, the quality and Project Director, Populous. “The master plan of the
potential for the surrounding development and the ballpark describes a new concept in spring training:
future of Goodyear,” Reed confirmed. integrating the venue into private development that
He continued: “Involved in making the ballpark hap- complements the facility and ensures the ballpark is
pen were the AZSTA (Arizona Sports & Tourism Authori- potentially used each day of the year. The planned
ty) which funded up to 50% of approved project costs mixed-use development will provide for invaluable
WINTER 2009/10 P ANS TADIA 114
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