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NEWS

 

For Immediate Release:

 

Sept. 17, 2007

Indians Baseball Comes Back to Cactus League

As Goodyear, AZ Breaks Ground on Spring Training Ballpark

 

(GOODYEAR, AZ)  A 75-piece high school marching band played “Wild Thing” and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” as officials of Goodyear, Arizona and the Cleveland Indians threw dirt into the shovel of the skip loader being run by baseball hall-of-famer and former Cleveland Indians pitcher Bob Feller. The flying dirt near a mock-up baseball field marked the ground breaking of the City of Goodyear’s $75 million Spring Training Ballpark and Recreational Sports Complex today at noon in Arizona. Bob Feller also threw out the first pitch to John Berroth, a member of the Arizona state champion Goodyear All-Star Little League Team. More than 350 people attended the groundbreaking in the shadow of the Sierra Estrella Mountains that marks the first step in the Indians’ return to the Cactus League and the desert where they trained from 1947 to 1992.

 

“This is a great day in Goodyear when we break ground to bring the Cleveland Indians and Cactus League baseball to the Southwest Valley,” stated Goodyear Mayor Jim Cavanaugh. “By owning and operating this incredible facility, the City of Goodyear will control a wonderful, year-round amenity in our community.”

 

Renderings of the exterior design of the ballpark and of the Indians’ team clubhouse were unveiled for the first time. The complex is being designed by renowned sports facility designer HOK of Kansas City and constructed by Barton Malow, a national construction services Michigan with office in Tempe. The practice fields and Indians player developer complex will be completed in Summer 2008 and the ballpark will be ready for the 2009 Spring Training Season.

 

“We’re extremely impressed with HOK’s design because the architecture displays a simple elegance that draws upon the rich architectural history of the surrounding region,” said Brian Dalke, Interim City Manager of Goodyear.

 

This one-of-a-kind sports complex includes an 8,000-seat ballpark with an additional 500 premium seats, six suites and 1,600 berm seats as well as a 400 party-seat area in the outfield.

 

The complex also includes a separate clubhouse/practice field area that will serve as a year-round training facility for the Indians and provide Goodyear’s residents with a grand recreational sports and events complex.

 

“The Cleveland Indians organization is excited about the opportunity to develop our players year-round in the warm Arizona weather,” said Indians President Paul Dolan. “Having such a great ballpark and state-of-the-art training facility in Goodyear will be a real asset to our team, and we are really looking forward to the 2009 Spring Training season in the Cactus League.”

 

The Cleveland Indians’ will house their Spring Training operation and player development facility in Goodyear beginning in the Summer 2008 when the Indians’ clubhouse and practice fields are completed. The Indians’ year-round portion of the practice field area will consist of their Clubhouse, two major practice fields, 1 half field, and batting practice areas. The remaining four major practice fields will be for the use of Goodyear residents except during the two months of Spring Training. The City also expects to use both the ballpark and practice field area for special events throughout the year.

 

The ballpark itself will be the centerpiece of Ballpark Village, an innovative mixed-use development of office, retail, housing and hospitality being developed just southeast of Goodyear’s future City Center by local developer Rose Properties Southwest. The unique design of this Spring Training ballpark distinguishes it from other spring training facilities in the Valley. Its 360-degree, ground-level concourse is being planned to ensure cohesive integration with surrounding restaurants, offices and a hotel/conference center.

 

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Goodyear, Arizona, located 17 miles west of downtown Phoenix, has been one of the four fastest growing U.S. suburban cities since 2000 with populations under 100,000. Goodyear has averaged 16% growth per year for the past eight years. Scenic mountain views, desert vistas, wide open spaces, golf courses, lakes, parks, and miles of biking and hiking trails have already attracted 56,000 residents to the many world class master planned communities in Goodyear. The new Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians, Goodyear is also fast becoming the retail center of the southwest area of the Phoenix metroplex, Goodyear will see four million square feet of new retail come out of the ground by 2010. With incredible transportation access due to railroad service, the Phoenix Goodyear Airport, and I-10 passing right through the city, Goodyear is developing a 4,000-acre employment corridor destined to employ 50,000 in the next 25 years. With 90% of its 190 square miles yet to be developed, Goodyear is a dynamic city of immense opportunity.

 


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City of Goodyear • 190 N. Litchfield Road • Goodyear AZ 85338 • Phone 623-932-3910 • Toll-Free 1-800-872-1749