Photography: Jon Willey
By Greg Dillard
In a short ceremony on Friday, officials from both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies along with leaders of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Community dedicated Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
The event featured several key speakers including President Diane Enos who thanked the many contributors, and welcomed everyone to the complex.
D-backs Managing Partner Ken Kendrick also took the podium and proclaimed, “It’s a great day to be a Diamondback.”
Kendrick was just one of the speakers who stressed the importance of the relationship between the two teams and the Community.
“They’ve been great partners throughout,” Kendrick said. “It’s a great point of pride to them that Major League Baseball has come to their community, and we have a facility like this on their land. They’re exceptionally happy to have us, and we’re very proud to be their partner.”
D-backs President and CEO Derrick Hall followed Kendrick and spoke of his outstanding relationship with late Rockies President Keli McGregor.
Prior to the grand opening, the Keli McGregor Reflection Trail was dedicated. The trail is located outside of the main stadium and behind home plate, and is in honor of the late Rockies President who passed away in 2010.
It was an emotional time for members of the D-backs and Rockies organization, and for McGregor’s wife Lori, who represented her husband.
Hall remains proud of what he and McGregor envisioned for the Spring Training complex.
“It means a lot to me that Keli and I dreamt it together, designed it together, and it’s terribly sad that he can’t be here today to see the end result,” Hall said. “I know he’s here in spirit. He would’ve been so proud. I’m proud of him. I’m proud of our friendship, and I’m proud of what we accomplished together.”
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is a one of a kind facility equipped with the largest video board in the Cactus League, 12 practice fields, and an elaborate stadium.
Hall is confident that fans will be impressed when they attend games.
“Not only that it’s the most beautiful facility by far,” Hall said, “but I think the location. The location sets us aside. It’s got breathtaking views, it’s completely surrounded panoramic views every where you look. It is by far the most superior complex, and that was our goal from the beginning.”
The action at Salt River Fields will begin to pick up next week when pitchers and catchers hold their first workout on Monday. The first game of the Spring Training season will come on Saturday, Feb. 26 between the D-backs and Rockies.