When Salt River Fields (SRF) officially opens its doors on Saturday for the 2011 Arizona Cactus League season, the Valley will boast one of the most impressive spring training facilities in the country.
The first baseball complex in the nation to be constructed on Native land, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick will play host to the Arizona Diamondbacks' and the Colorado Rockies' practice seasons. Games are scheduled daily from February 26 through March 29, so there will be ample opportunities to take in the sights.
The centerpiece of the $100-million-plus venue -- located just north of the Scottsdale Pavilions shopping area at 7555 North Pima Road in Scottsdale -- is an 11,000-seat-capacity ballpark that sports the largest scoreboard/video board in the Cactus League.
SRF can also brag about its other amenities, such as the 183 televisions that will be located throughout the stadium, the most expansive lawn-seating area in town, and a completely-shaded third-story lounge that, according to a stadium official, will be modeled, energy-wise, after the 16th hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
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During a recent sunny afternoon, New Times was able to get an exclusive lookie look at the park. Aside from some cosmetic-related landscaping stuff outside of SRF, the main field is good to go for its opening game between the D-backs and Rockies at 1:10 p.m. Saturday.