Guest Editorial: A New Field Of Dreams For Scottsdale?

By Scottsdale Pinetop

In the world of Twitter, it’s not hard for news to get around fast – especially when it’s good news.

According to a tweet earlier today by Scottsdale Progress Editor Wayne Schutsky, Scottsdale Unified School District is in negotiations with Phoenix Rising Football Club to potentially lease the district’s property on 68th Street and Oak Street, which currently houses the old Tonalea school, for a new practice facility.

The proposed site has been unused for over 6 years. In 2014, the district closed the Tonalea elementary campus to combine its elementary school with a nearby middle school to create a new Tonalea K-8 now located just one mile south at 68th Street and Continental Drive.

As stated in a later tweet quoting an attorney for Phoenix Rising, “Phx Rising needs to accommodate its growing fan base with a larger stadium, welcome visiting teams from around the world with more training sites for its expanding spring tournament and provide for its thriving non-profit youth soccer organization with more fields.”

In soccer parlance, what a goal for the city, especially its southern neighborhoods.

Scottsdale is no stranger to housing major sports franchises. For decades, Scottsdale Stadium has been an integral part of the downtown area and a vital economic driver for the city. Just ask most any local business or restaurant.  Home to the San Francisco Giants, it’s there that droves of baseball fans from the Bay Area and the country descend to spend money during spring training season. Further north, the Ice Den, developed by the former owner of the Arizona Coyotes, enriches neighborhoods with its impressive facility for families and aspiring athletes.

As the popularity of soccer continues to increase, so does the need for adequate sports facilities to host youth sports and fans alike. Just look at the recent bond package to build new multi-use sports fields throughout Scottsdale. But that’s for another conversation.

If negotiations are to go through, this would place two major sports facilities within a couple of miles of each other and turn South Scottsdale into an emerging mecca for sports facilities. Really, it’s a win-win-win situation for the city, school district and its residents.