Scottsdale officials have tentatively selected one of the world’s foremost stadiumdesign firms to sketch plans for a baseball training facility for the San Francisco Giants.
Kansas City-based HOK Sport + Venue + Event was selected among seven companies to design an $18 million spring training practice facility proposed at Coronado Golf Course, the city’s oldest links, at Miller and Thomas roads.
The City Council on Dec. 8 will be asked to approve the $195,000 design contract, which would require the sporting-venue firm to design preliminary plans that will show the location of a clubhouse, training fields, a batting tunnel, an observation tower and specialized training areas.
While the project has gained support from some council members, business leaders and residents, it has its share of opposition from area neighbors and golfers, who have expressed fear about the loss of property values, a quiet neighborhood and a community resource.
The Dec. 8 meeting is expected to draw a crowd of critics and supporters.
HOK is among the largest design firms in the world, having built hundreds of facilities in its 20-year history. It has its share of success in the Valley, too.
The firm teamed up with New York architect Peter Eisenman to design the under-construction Arizona Cardinals stadium in Glendale. It also has designed the Phoenix Coyotes arena.
In addition to designing Scottsdale Stadium — the Cactus League home of the Giants — HOK has designed a number of baseball stadiums for other Arizona cities, including Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Peoria Spring Training Facility, Tempe Diablo Stadium, Surprise Recreation Complex and Tucson Electric Park.
Dave Bower, a principal with HOK, said he worked as a project manager for the company when it designed the new Scottsdale Stadium more than a decade ago.
"Every single person who worked on that project initially is still with us today," he said. Bower said he is aware of concerns about the plan from nearby residents.
"We have to get in and really learn about what is on the citizens’ minds," he said.
Scottsdale proposes to turn the 44-acre Coronado Golf Course — including the privately owned clubhouse, driving range and putting green — into a baseball complex. City officials have said they want to keep 29 acres of open space.
Part of the challenge about communicating with residents has been a lack of a conceptual plan, which makes it difficult for city officials to get specific about what the project would look like, or where facilities would be located, said Lisa Collins, Scottsdale’s customer service and communication director.