by Joe Mock
Are you in Arizona for spring training? Then join me for a free presentation on ballparks in Sun City Grand, near Peoria and Surprise.
Presenting with me will be noted sports architect Jonathan Cole of Pendulum Studio (see photo). We’ll be showing a slide show on the current state of ballpark design. Any baseball fan will enjoy this show!
The event is sponsored by the Sun City Grand Sports Interest Group. It will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday March 21 in the Cimarron Room at 17100 West Clear View Blvd., Surprise, AZ 85387. There is no admission charge, and all are welcome!
Article and photos by Joe Mock, BaseballParks.com
All rights reserved
During my trip to Florida to write about the new Ballpark of the Palm Beaches (see our in-depth review of it here), I made a point of attending games in Lakeland and Tampa. The reason? Both had undergone sweeping renovations in preparation for this year’s spring-training exhibitions.
As this panoramic photo (taken on the roof) shows, Lakeland’s Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium looks tremendously different than it did even a year ago. Part of the year-long transformation was the extension of the grandstands down both foul lines.
No, the phrase “The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches” does not refer to just the stadium in the middle of the spring training complex. Instead, it is the label for the full-blown, $148 million facility.
Check out our in-depth review of the complex. You’ll feel like you’ve visited West Palm Beach yourself, because accompanying the article are 40 photos you won’t see anywhere else!
Click here to go to the review.
As the spring training complex known officially as Salt River Fields at Talking Stick turns six years old, it’s easy to see its impact on the sport. Today, Major League teams want bigger clubhouses, more practice space and a better experience for their springtime fans. Salt River paved the way for all of that.
This article first appeared in the Spring Training Preview issue of USA TODAY Sports Weekly. I had so much great material for it that I obtained permission to reproduce here in an unabridged form. I think you’ll enjoy the extra insights that this longer piece offers.
Check out the article here. If you’ve been lucky enough to attend a game or event at Salt River, post a comment at the bottom of the article with your impressions.