October 23, 2004
A Scottsdale official who is leading negotiations to expand spring training operations for the San Francisco Giants said it will be another 45 days before a final plan is brought forward for a vote.
Assistant city manager Barbara Burns also told a residents’ group Thursday night that the city is almost entirely focusing on a site east of Scottsdale Stadium for the practice facility.
City staff have in the past been cautious about naming a favored location for the $18 million baseball facility, despite having a majority of City Council members who prefer the stadium site over two other locations.
"We are really focusing on the stadium site," Burns said at the south Scottsdale neighborhood meeting. "We believe this is a viable site, but not without constraints."
Those constraints include fitting two full-size playing fields, a practice infield, batting tunnels, parking and other structures into the 7.4-acre site east of the stadium.
Burns said other challenges will be providing adequate parking, adding a clubhouse to the existing stadium configuration and making the overall design compatible with Scottsdale Stadium.
The city has denied a Tribune public records request seeking site plans, renderings and other information regarding the stadium site at Osborn Road and Drinkwater Boulevard. Officials have said it is "too preliminary" to unveil the plans publicly, and argued it could hinder already ongoing negotiations between the city and the owner of a property near the stadium.
Giants executives have told Scottsdale the team would relocate in 2007 — when its contract expires — unless it has upgraded facilities.
The Giants currently practice at Indian School Park along Hayden Road. They would continue to use some fields at the park in conjunction with a new facility.
The city originally wanted to replace the Coronado Golf Course with the practice facility, but has reconsidered those plans due to public outcry, deed restrictions and the threat of legal action.
The city also has considered Eldorado Park, the city’s first public park. Placing the training facility at Eldorado would mean the city would have to relocate youth sports fields.
Neither Coronado nor Eldorado are politically or practically feasible, said Councilman Bob Littlefield, who attended the Thursday meeting.
"If this gets built, it’s going to get built at the stadium," he told the group. "There is absolutely no desire to put this thing at Coronado or Eldorado."