SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Scottsdale officials are supporting an American Indian tribe’s bid to build a spring-training complex for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.
If the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and baseball teams reach an agreement, the Cactus League stadium and practice facilities would be located on tribal land just east of Scottsdale.
If approved, the city wants to accelerate road improvements to the stadium site, said Neal Shearer, Scottsdale assistant city manager.
“We’re still anxiously awaiting a decision by the Diamondbacks,” said Shearer, adding that the teams would be an economic boost for both the tribe and the city.
The Salt River tribe, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and an unidentified third entity are among the finalists for a baseball complex that would allow the Diamondbacks and Rockies to move spring training from Tucson to the Phoenix area as early as 2011.
Officials from the Diamondbacks, Rockies and both tribes are not commenting on the complex, which is expected to cost nearly $100 million.
In mid-May, Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall said a decision could be reached within a few weeks.
Salt River officials announced their bid in March for the complex.
Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane said he and Salt River Tribe President Diane Enos met recently with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in an unsuccessful bid to get federal stimulus funds for road improvements related to the baseball complex.
As a result, Shearer said the city is considering other ways it can expedite the roadwork.
He said Scottsdale is primarily focused on maintaining its partnership with the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium but would welcome the economic spinoff from the Diamondbacks and Rockies training site.
“We are cognizant of the opportunity that Salt River has to create something special,” Shearer said.
A baseball complex would add to the Salt River tribe’s commercial and entertainment development on Scottsdale’s eastern border.
The baseball site would be within a mile of the tribe’s 15-story casino hotel set to open by early next year. The 497-room Casino Arizona Resort and Spa will include a 240,000-square-foot gaming floor with 800 slot machines and 50 poker tables.
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