HKS, Inc.

Scottsdale, Arizona

When the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies decided to move their spring-training operations from Tucson and share a new facility in the Phoenix metropolitan area, the teams wanted more than a state-of-the-art ballpark. For the hundreds of thousands of supporters who come out each spring to watch practice games, picnic on the stadium lawn, and cut loose before the baseball season begins, the Diamondbacks and Rockies (who are otherwise unaffiliated) set out to create the best fan experience in the major leagues.

The teams found a home in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa County Indian Community, which invested in creating just such an off-season venue called Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, designed by HKS. Unlike a traditional stage-managed sports arena, Salt River Fields invites fans to choose how they experience the game. Visitors enter via ramped sidewalks with views that clarify the logic of the site. To encourage them to explore Salt River as they would a regular park, the architects organized the site in an organic circular pattern around the concrete-and-steel-structure stadium. If the fans don't want to sit in the 11,000-seat stadium or on its large lawn, they can walk around to see the activity at the dugouts, batting cages, and practice fields. “Rather than have one or two places to watch, we probably have 25 ways you can see a game,” says HKS principal Morris Stein.

All that flexibility has paid off. Since the stadium opened in 2011, Salt River Fields has enjoyed the highest spring-training attendance in the major leagues. In 2012 the complex beat the previous record (Peoria Sports Complex's 230,407 fans in 2008) by 60 percent, topping out at 369,393 fans. During the off-season, the park brings in an additional 200,000 people for youth sports, food-truck festivals, concerts, and parties.

The Native American community's investment in Salt River has already spurred local economic growth. Two golf courses have doubled the number of games played, hotel bookings are up, and a nearby shopping center is adding tenants, according to Stein. “This is not just creating income from selling baseball tickets or hot dogs and Cokes, but a real economic engine,” he says. “One plus one equals far more than two.”

Architect: HKS — Morris A. Stein, principal; Andrew Henning, project manager; Bryon Chambers, project designer; Deva Powell, Thomas Smith, project architects

Size: 140 acres; 279,600 square feet (buildings)

Cost: $13.7 million

Completion date: January 2011


Formal name of building:
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, AZ

Completion Date:
January 2011

Gross square footage:
279,635 sf (buildings only, site is 140 acres)

Total construction cost:

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

HKS, Inc.
821 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85004
t: 602.462.0966 / f: 602.462.9495

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit: Morris A. Stein, FAIA, FACHA ' Principal-in-Charge
Andrew Henning, AIA, LEED AP ' Project Manager
Bryon Chambers, LEED AP ' Project Designer
Deva Powell, AIA, LEED AP ' Project Architect
Thomas Smith, AIA ' Project Architect

Interior designer: HKS, Inc.
Dalton Interiors

Structural: HKS, Inc. ' Larry Johnson, PE, LEED AP; Greg Davenport, PE, LEED AP

MPE: WSP Flack + Kurtz ' Reginald Monteyne, PE, LEED AP; Randy Meyers, PE, LEED AP

Civil: Lloyd Consulting Group ' Michael Lloyd, PE, RLS; Anthony Stevenson, PE

Sustainability: HKS Design Green ' Ellen Mitchell, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Landscape: Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, Inc. ' Todd Briggs, ASLA

Lighting: WSP Flack + Kurtz ' Jonathan Plumpton, LEED AP; Erik Crowell, LEED AP

Acoustical: Acoustic Dimensions ' Stuart Reynolds

Irrigation: Aqua Engineering, Inc. ' Bill Whitmore

Food Service: Systems Design International, Inc. ' Eli Osatinski
Ovations ' Jay Satenspiel

Environmental Graphic Design: Focus EGD ' J.B. Chaykowski

Life Safety: FP&C Consultants ' Michael Koop

General contractor:
Mortenson Construction
3100 West Ray Road, Suite 101
Chandler, AZ 85226
Ron Wilson ' Project Director
Eric Grenz ' Project Manager

HKS, Inc.
Blake Marvin

CAD system, project management, or other software used:
Revit Architecture
Revit Structural
Google SketchUp



Structural system
Steel frame, concrete block and pre-cast concrete

Manufacturer of any structural components unique to this project:
Steel ' Able Steel Fabricators, Inc.
Concrete Block ' Quality Block
Pre-Cast Concrete ' T-Pac

Exterior cladding
Metal Decking (Exposed) ' Epic Metals Corp.

Johns Manville

Wall Panels

Operable Windows ' NanaWall
Glazed Curtainwall ' Kawneer


Roof Paver
Acker Stone with Bison Pedestals

Entrances: Kawneer

Sliding doors: Arcadia, Inc.

Roll Up Doors: Cookson


Interior finishes Acoustical ceilings: USG

Suspension grid: Armstrong

Millwork: Western Millwork

Paints and stains:
Frazee Paint
Sherwin Williams
Devoe High Performance Coatings

Floor and wall tile: Dal-Tile Corp (Flooring, Locker/Shower)

Resilient flooring: Mondo

Carpet: Interface Flor

Fixed seating: Stadium Seating ' American Seating

Interior ambient lighting:

Musco Lighting
GE Lighting Systems ' Ultra Sport

Elevators: KONE