We admit we don't get out to Goodyear much. But, with a new Spring Training stadium opening in the western West Valley city Wednesday, we made the drive ("Just 20 minutes from downtown Phoenix!" Goodyear likes to claim) to check out the new home of the Cleveland Indians, former spring Floridians who've come west for a new stadium.
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Ohio's other team, the Cincinnati Reds, will share the stadium with the Tribe starting next year. So what did we see, besides lots of pale Midwesterners?
While we can't really say the atmosphere at Goodyear Park holds a candle to what Cubs fans bring to Mesa's HoHoKam Park, its a hell of a nice stadium. With lots of gray block and oxidized metal, the stadium's architectural accents are more like what you'll find in a loft than a typical ballpark, but it's certainly attractive. A statue that looks like an oblong baseball impressed us, if only because of the supremly realistic looking stiches.
The plans are to build a large mixed-use development around the park -- something like Glendale's Westgate -- but so far it's mostly dusty fields. There was no tailgate scene (oh, Cubbies!) but the grassy lawn in the outfield provided a nice vantage point to take in the San Francisco Giants' 10-7 victory over the Indians.