The major construction project unveiled in spring training wasn’t at a ballpark, as the San Francisco Giants opened a new Player Development Center at Papago Park in Phoenix.
You may remember the Papago Park site as formerly housing the Oakland A’s player development center, until the team shifting training to the Lew Wolff complex in Mesa. If you visited during the Oakland Athletics days, you’d remember a very dusty experience, featuring a one-story concrete-block clubhouse. But the Oakland camp had one thing going for it: an incredibly scenic location, with the buttes of Papago Park a lovely backdrop.
And while the buttes of Papago Park are still a lovely backdrop, what was unveiled last week is a totally upgraded baseball experience. Designed by Populous, who provided architectural, master plan oversight, interior design and interior signage services, the new $65-million Player Development Center features six outdoor practice fields (five natural grass, one synthetic turf), an agility field and covered exterior pitching lanes, a 50,000-square-foot Clubhouse Building (shown below), an indoor practice facility (which houses a synthetic grass half field and eight indoor batting lanes) and a new field maintenance building. In all, it’s state of the art when it comes to MLB training facilities.
“The Giants Player Development Center redefines spring training facilities by pairing sophisticated design with best-in-class technology and elite training spaces,” said Populous associate principal Brian Simpson vis press statement. “Our innovative and research-based design approach resulted in a complex that gives players access to the best spring training experience.”
“We believe that together with Populous and all of our project partners, we have designed, created, built and now opened one of the most innovative development centers in baseball,” said Alfonso Felder, executive vice president of administration, San Francisco Giants. “Providing our players with the best resources to achieve their potential is our priority and we believe our new facility does just that.”
The standalone 30,000-square-foot practice building includes an indoor half field along with hitting and pitching lanes. The project was designed to feature sustainable tech: the new 15,380-square-foot groundskeeping and maintenance building including a wastewater recycling system for washing mowers and equipment.
Also part of the project development team: building contractor Okland, site and field contractor Frontier Golf and landscape architect iN2iT.
Photos courtesy Populous.