By Scottsdale Pinetop
There’s nothing like being in downtown Scottsdale during spring training season. Each March, thousands of fans descend upon Scottsdale in a sea of orange, decorated from head to toe in their team’s colors. Selling out spring training seats at most Cactus League games, Scottsdale Stadium has helped make Scottsdale a leading economic and tourist destination. But, in order to maintain that reputation, it needs a better stadium.
Thankfully, Scottsdale leaders are heeding the call and making it happen. Last week, the Scottsdale City Council , without a single opposition, approved the first phase of the renovations to Scottsdale Stadium of $50.6 million with the San Francisco Giants and Scottsdale Charros contributing to the costs. Needless to say, the stadium is in need of a face-lift. Scottsdale Stadium is the second-oldest ballpark in the Cactus League, opening its doors in 1992. The last time the stadium was updated was in 2005.
Improvements to the stadium include a new clubhouse, additional shaded areas for the Charros Lounge, upgrades to the main entrance and parking lots, expansion of the press box and renovations to the bleachers. All of this is being done to help the facility to become more of a year round asset too.
Community leaders, the Giants, non-profits and fans have ensured that the success of spring training benefits the community as a whole. This has been in large because of the unique partnership between the City of Scottsdale, the Giants and the Charros and is a model for public, private and non-profits working together to benefit all. This partnership has resulted in over $16 million in donations that support local charities and education programs. As the Giant’s current contract expires in 2025, the city is continuing to finalize details of a long-term lease of the City and Charros to ensure many more years of spring training. We hope they do.
But improvements to the stadium don’t just benefit the franchise and city. There’s no question that Scottsdalians are the stadium’s biggest beneficiaries. Not just because we have the added advantage of attending home games, but also as an economic engine. Spring training generates millions of dollars of revenue for restaurants, galleries, retail and nightlife. It is the only spring training ballpark in the Valley to provide the appeal of catching an afternoon game and then be within walking distance of the city’s downtown. It is truly an iconic city asset that adds to the unique attractiveness of Scottsdale. Well done, Scottsdale, and a tip of the cap to Scottsdale City Manager Jim Thompson and city staff who have worked tirelessly to make it happen.