Tag Archives: baseball

baseball

Four Peaks Makes Mark on Spring Training

This Spring Training season, locally brewed Four Peaks craft beer made its way into the hands and hearts of baseball fans from across the globe—a big step for the Tempe-based company, whose clearly-stated mission is “to craft exceptional beer and be able to share it with good people.”

Greg Ross, Director of Marketing at Four Peaks, explains the reasoning behind the recent addition: “Obviously beer and baseball have enjoyed a long marriage over the years in our country. Once we told our story to stadium management and concessionaires, we felt consumer demand and our place as the market leader could lead to a mutually beneficial addition to their concession offerings.  Our sales figures three weeks into the Cactus League season have been very strong and feedback from our concessionaires has been very positive.”

Currently, four Cactus League stadiums now boast the ever-popular Four Peaks Kilt Lifter, a full-bodied Scottish style ale, along with gold-medal winning Sunbru, a Kolsch-style lighter and more delicate style of beer. You will also find the 8th Street Ale, Arizona Peach Ale, and Hefeweizen styles at select parks. Matt Slatus, Director of Marketing & Corporate Partnerships at Camelback Ranch Stadium in Glendale which hosts both the Dodgers and White Sox, expresses his excitement: “For the first time in [Cactus League’s] history, fans have the opportunity to taste beer that may be within 48 hours of finishing the brewing process. It’s a unique opportunity for fans to enjoy a local product in its freshest state.”

Arizona is not the only state to recently introduce local craft beers to its spring training selection. This year, they are popping up in stadiums throughout the nation. Not only does this enhance the overall experience of the fans, but it also allows the unique opportunity for product exposure to markets that a company might normally miss out on. This exposure helps increase craft beer sales in those out-of-state markets where various teams are represented.

According to the Brewers Association, craft beer sales rose 17 percent in 2012, while volume was up 15 percent. By comparison, the entire U.S. beer industry saw volume go up only 1 percent. Better beer coupled with a positive economic impact is a win-win for the community and the craft beer industry. This increased desire to “drink local” has made companies like Four Peaks valuable contributors to economic growth.

Saguaro pool

Saguaro Scottsdale Is Giants' Official Hotel

Less than a half mile, depending on the route.  That’s the distance from Scottsdale Stadium to The Saguaro Scottsdale, the official spring training hotel of the World Champion San Francisco Giants.

The Saguaro Scottsdale, a chic hotel in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, will be pouring bubbly for the legions of Bay Area fans who travel to get the season’s first look at the reigning World Champs.  Of course, The Saguaro also welcomes the oodles of San Francisco transplants who now call Arizona home.

“There’s always a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding spring training, and The Saguaro Scottsdale is thrilled to be an official partner with the San Francisco Giants,” Alan Klein, Saguaro’s general manager, said. “The Saguaro is a natural hub for Giants fans.  We welcome the sea of orange and black that traditionally marks the arrival of March at our hotel.”

Splashed with vibrant colors and cushioned by an active arts district, the Saguaro Scottsdale offers a quiet yet connected retreat for baseball fans and anyone else looking to slip away from the daily grind.  The Saguaro Scottsdale is home to Distrito, a restaurant by Iron Chef Jose Garces, featuring traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern twist.  Distrito was among the region’s best new destinations as ranked by the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Magazine, and was named as the “Best Place To Take A Foodie” by the Phoenix New Times.

The hotel is also home to the Saguaro Spa, a sanctuary offering replenishing treatments from wraps to massages to facials.  For information regarding reservations at The Saguaro, call 877-808-2440 or visit http://www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/arizona/saguaro.

Saguaro pool

Saguaro Scottsdale Is Giants' Official Hotel

Less than a half mile, depending on the route.  That’s the distance from Scottsdale Stadium to The Saguaro Scottsdale, the official spring training hotel of the World Champion San Francisco Giants.

The Saguaro Scottsdale, a chic hotel in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, will be pouring bubbly for the legions of Bay Area fans who travel to get the season’s first look at the reigning World Champs.  Of course, The Saguaro also welcomes the oodles of San Francisco transplants who now call Arizona home.

“There’s always a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding spring training, and The Saguaro Scottsdale is thrilled to be an official partner with the San Francisco Giants,” Alan Klein, Saguaro’s general manager, said. “The Saguaro is a natural hub for Giants fans.  We welcome the sea of orange and black that traditionally marks the arrival of March at our hotel.”

Splashed with vibrant colors and cushioned by an active arts district, the Saguaro Scottsdale offers a quiet yet connected retreat for baseball fans and anyone else looking to slip away from the daily grind.  The Saguaro Scottsdale is home to Distrito, a restaurant by Iron Chef Jose Garces, featuring traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern twist.  Distrito was among the region’s best new destinations as ranked by the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Magazine, and was named as the “Best Place To Take A Foodie” by the Phoenix New Times.

The hotel is also home to the Saguaro Spa, a sanctuary offering replenishing treatments from wraps to massages to facials.  For information regarding reservations at The Saguaro, call 877-808-2440 or visit http://www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/arizona/saguaro.

Saguaro pool

Saguaro Scottsdale Is Giants' Official Hotel

Less than a half mile, depending on the route.  That’s the distance from Scottsdale Stadium to The Saguaro Scottsdale, the official spring training hotel of the World Champion San Francisco Giants.

The Saguaro Scottsdale, a chic hotel in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, will be pouring bubbly for the legions of Bay Area fans who travel to get the season’s first look at the reigning World Champs.  Of course, The Saguaro also welcomes the oodles of San Francisco transplants who now call Arizona home.

“There’s always a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding spring training, and The Saguaro Scottsdale is thrilled to be an official partner with the San Francisco Giants,” Alan Klein, Saguaro’s general manager, said. “The Saguaro is a natural hub for Giants fans.  We welcome the sea of orange and black that traditionally marks the arrival of March at our hotel.”

Splashed with vibrant colors and cushioned by an active arts district, the Saguaro Scottsdale offers a quiet yet connected retreat for baseball fans and anyone else looking to slip away from the daily grind.  The Saguaro Scottsdale is home to Distrito, a restaurant by Iron Chef Jose Garces, featuring traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern twist.  Distrito was among the region’s best new destinations as ranked by the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Magazine, and was named as the “Best Place To Take A Foodie” by the Phoenix New Times.

The hotel is also home to the Saguaro Spa, a sanctuary offering replenishing treatments from wraps to massages to facials.  For information regarding reservations at The Saguaro, call 877-808-2440 or visit http://www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/arizona/saguaro.

Saguaro pool

Saguaro Scottsdale Is Giants’ Official Hotel

Less than a half mile, depending on the route.  That’s the distance from Scottsdale Stadium to The Saguaro Scottsdale, the official spring training hotel of the World Champion San Francisco Giants.

The Saguaro Scottsdale, a chic hotel in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, will be pouring bubbly for the legions of Bay Area fans who travel to get the season’s first look at the reigning World Champs.  Of course, The Saguaro also welcomes the oodles of San Francisco transplants who now call Arizona home.

“There’s always a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding spring training, and The Saguaro Scottsdale is thrilled to be an official partner with the San Francisco Giants,” Alan Klein, Saguaro’s general manager, said. “The Saguaro is a natural hub for Giants fans.  We welcome the sea of orange and black that traditionally marks the arrival of March at our hotel.”

Splashed with vibrant colors and cushioned by an active arts district, the Saguaro Scottsdale offers a quiet yet connected retreat for baseball fans and anyone else looking to slip away from the daily grind.  The Saguaro Scottsdale is home to Distrito, a restaurant by Iron Chef Jose Garces, featuring traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern twist.  Distrito was among the region’s best new destinations as ranked by the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Magazine, and was named as the “Best Place To Take A Foodie” by the Phoenix New Times.

The hotel is also home to the Saguaro Spa, a sanctuary offering replenishing treatments from wraps to massages to facials.  For information regarding reservations at The Saguaro, call 877-808-2440 or visit http://www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/arizona/saguaro.

Diamondbacks, Chase Field

Podcast: Diamondbacks, Fulton Homes Home Run Program

The Arizona Diamondbacks have partnered up once again with Fulton Homes for another season-long charity.

The Fulton Homes Home Run Program has been a part of the Diamondbacks culture off and on for the last couple of years. With each home run hit by a Dback, Fulton Homes will donate $150 to the Central Arizona Mountain Rescue Association (CAMRA) or the Youth Assistance Foundation.

This week, I had the privilege of speaking with Fulton Home’s CEO Doug Fulton for our weekly podcast. On top of that, Fulton is also a member of CAMRA and was part of the initial setup of the Youth Assistance Foundation with the sheriff’s office.

Last season the Dbacks hit their way to $25,000 worth of donations, and Fulton hopes that they will do the same this year. With no limit on how much the company will donate, Fulton hopes to financially support CAMRA and its “heroes of Arizona” as much as he can.

Click the link below and tune into my interview with CEO of Fulton Home’s Doug Fulton as we talk about the Fulton Homes Home Run Program and the different charities they work with.

Play ball!

San Francisco Giants

San Francisco Giants: A Giant History

Originally known as the New York Gothams, the San Francisco Giants is one of the oldest baseball teams in the history of America.

Their first season, where they finished two games behind Chicago, still drew a spectacular beginning of a long history for the team with 76 victories.  That was in 1885, and nearly 40 years later, the Giants, still known as the New York Gothams at this point, won both the National League title and the World Series.

That, however, was no surprise, for seven of the eight Giants Starters bet better than .320; it also marked the second World Series for them.  Many of the team’s numbers were record-breaking; all the way up to 1923, the team was the first in the 20th century to score in every inning of the game.  With George Kelly who hit three consecutive home runs in a single game; Travis Jackson who recorded 100-plus runs battled in (RBI’s) in a single contest and Ross Youngs who led the league 121 runs scored, the Giants astounding statistics was no surprise and the result: another year where they participate in the World Series.

The early 1950’s brought the New York Gothams to a hault, but in 1958, the team became who we know it as today: the San Francisco Giants.

Purchased by the city’s mayor, George Christopher and led by the legendary manager, Bill Rigney, the team moved to the Bay Area for the 1958 season.  And the city welcomes their team with excitement and a huge parade.  But they were off to a slow start: they finished 12 games out in third place, but still managed to gain a notable 80-74 record.

The team didn’t make it to their World Series by the Bay Area until 1962, with Skipper Alvin Dark on their side, but continues to string stellar seasons until  1965.  Each of their four seasons in a row resulted in 90 wins for them; but unfortunately, they fell short of two games and settles for a runner-up finish.

Although the team was only getting close, and not quite getting there, several Giants achieved their personal homeruns.  Gaylord Perry was only of five San Francisco Giants in the Hall of Fame.  Perry had a 16-win history, where he pitched 19 complete games.  Other players like Orlanda Cepeda, Bob Gibson and Willie McCovey also had outstanding stats.

Come the 90’s and comes Barry Bonds: the team’s most notable player of the decade.  Barry Bonds is the fourth member of the prestigious 300-300 and the 40-40 clubs.  In other words, he completed his 300th and 301st homeruns in one year and then his 400th the next.  But the team’s history was still dragging on.  After eight years, the Giants finally made their postseason appearance in the National League Wild Card and although losing to Florida’s Marlins, they were a tough team to beat.

The Giants, in 2002, bounced back to their tremendous and victory-filled history and made it to the National League Championship Series.  The next year, and for the first time since 1936-37, the team earned consecutive appearances in postseason play.  They won’t their third National League West title and became only the second team in history to go write-to-wire with a finish of 100-61.

The next four years brought another downturn, only to bring the team to 2008, where towards the end of the season, the team posted a 28027 mark.  The rookie Pablo Sandoval hit .345 in 41 games and pushed for the Giants’ strong finish.

Till this day, the Giants continue their highs and lows of baseball performance, bringing to their fans years of great accomplishments and others of coming-close victory.

For information on the team’s spring schedule and their arrival to Arizona, see the Spring Schedule here. 

 

It appears the Chicago Cubs’ spring training facility will remain in Mesa - AZ Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

A Threat By The Cubs To Leave Arizona Has Cactus League Sites Scrambling

Update:
It appears the Chicago Cubs’ spring training facility will remain in Mesa. Team officials recently notified a group from Naples, Fla., attempting to lure the Cubs to the Grapefruit League that they plan to continue to negotiate exclusively with the city of Mesa. Mesa, meanwhile, reportedly is looking at four sites for the new facility: Recker Road and the Loop 202; the Riverview area; a downtown site; and near the Gaylord resort, planned for the GM Proving Grounds site. According to published reports, the Riverview area appears to be the leading contender for the facility.Spring training baseball in Arizona, a cash cow for Valley communities, is in need of another source of revenue to build new stadiums and refurbish existing facilities. The estimated 1.47 million fans who attended games played by the 15 teams that trained in Arizona this year contributed more than $300 million to the state’s economy, according to Cactus League Association estimates.

That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that owners of the Chicago Cubs, the biggest draw in the Cactus League, have threatened to move their spring home from Mesa to Naples, Fla., if they don’t get a new stadium and training facility.

Adding to the financial dilemma is that funding from the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, which among other things supports spring training baseball, has virtually dried up, due in some measure to the economic downturn. The agency receives most of its money from tourism-related taxes on hotels and car rentals.

A legislative proposal to add a surcharge to all Cactus League tickets to help pay for a new Cubs stadium was as welcome as a blazing fastball from Randy Johnson in his prime. Efforts to push House Bill 2736, sponsored by House Majority Leader John McComish, basically struck out.

“We need to find ways to not only keep the Cubs in Maricopa County, but use those creative funding mechanisms to preserve and expand other spring training facilities in the entire West Valley,” says Jack Lunsford, president and CEO of WESTMARC. “Keeping the Cubs is important, as well as making sure a funding mechanism for the Cubs can be applied, as necessary, in the West Valley.”

Stepping to the plate, Peoria officials proposed a possible solution — the creation of special bonding districts. John Schell, intergovernmental affairs director for Peoria, explains his city’s interest.

“Without much discussion with the other teams or other affected entities, they (key legislators) added a surcharge to tickets and rental cars,” he says. “The ticket surcharge got us more involved because of the adverse impact it would have to our revenue-sharing agreement with the two teams that train in Peoria, the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres. It was not feasible for us.”

The Peoria agreement, not unlike those of other Valley cities that host spring training teams, including Goodyear and Surprise, provides that if the state or some other entity puts a surcharge on tickets, Peoria would have to make up the difference.

“That would have cost us close to $300,000 a year to build a stadium in Mesa — with no ownership,” Schell says. “Imagine how the taxpayers in Peoria would have felt about that. So we were drawn into the discussion to try to identify some sort of funding solution.”

Schell notes correctly that the Arizona Legislature doesn’t have much of an appetite for new taxation, especially in the current economy. He and Peoria City Attorney Steve Kemp met with other host cities throughout the Valley and representatives of Major League Baseball to discuss options.

“It’s not a complete solution and it doesn’t involve any public funds,” Schell says. “We worked closely with the bond counsel for Major League Baseball and came up with a concept we called the revenue allocation authority.”

It was too late to be introduced at the Legislature this year, but Schell says there likely will be discussions on the topic even before lawmakers reconvene next January. It calls for the establishment of a district to issue bonds to pay for improvements or new construction of spring training facilities. Each district would have to be approved by voters living in the district and would not have taxing authority, Schell says.

“It’s a very strong tool,” Schell says. “It would use increment financing. It would capture the growth in the district. It would not become a general obligation of the city, and it won’t affect property taxes. People won’t feel the impact. It’s a unique way of financing.”

Schell says Major League Baseball, which helped prepare the proposal, is supportive.

Baseball insiders say they don’t think the Cubs will follow through with their threat and move to Florida. Although relocating to an Indian reservation, which is what the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies will do next spring, is an option, the Cubs have not expressed an outward interest in going that route. Others say if a deal with Mesa falls through, other Valley cities will make their pitch for the popular Chicago team.

Peoria Mayor Bob Barrett bluntly says the ticket surcharge proposal was a disaster and that he is adamantly opposed to such a scheme. On the possibility of the Cubs leaving Arizona, Barrett says he hopes they remain.

“They ought to talk to the tribes,” he says. “But, if they do leave, the world will continue to turn and the Cactus League will not disappear. The 14 other teams will survive.”

www.cactusleague.com | www.peoriaaz.com

Arizona Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

Two new spring training stadiums

Two New Spring Training Stadiums Set To Debut In The West Valley

With football, hockey, baseball and possibly USA Basketball joining the mix, the West Valley is becoming an active sports mecca for the rest of the Valley. Recent additions to this bustling hub of game activity are new Cactus League training facilities in Glendale and Goodyear that will come online for the 2009 spring training season.

This year, the Cactus League set a record when 1.3 million fans (60 percent from out of state) attended spring training games. The Cactus League’s contribution to the state’s economy is more than $200 million a year.
“Spring training is a big draw and a great experience,” says J.P. de la Montaigne, Cactus League president. “We call it our Super Bowl every year.”

Glendale’s new facility will be the spring training complex for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox. The state-of-the-art baseball stadium will have seating for 13,000, four major league practice fields, eight minor league practice fields, two practice infields and 118,000 square feet of major and minor league clubhouses for the two teams. Down the road, the 151-acre site will also have residential, restaurant and retail development, a four-star hotel and an 18-hole golf course developed by Rightpath Limited Development Group.

The Arizona Sports & Tourism Authority is funding two-thirds of the complex, and the city of Glendale is contributing one-third of the $90 million project, which is under construction on 111th Avenue west of the Loop 101 between Camelback Road and Glendale Avenue. Stadium construction started in November 2007 and will be finished in time for the 2009 spring training season.

Tom Harrison, construction executive for Mortenson Sports, a division of Mortenson Construction which is building the complex, says planning the facility took longer than anticipated, so they added a night shift in August to keep construction on schedule.

“This is an exciting project and we have the right team to get it accomplished on time,” Harrison says. “I’ve been involved in five other spring training facilities in the Valley, but this is truly the most unique. The Glendale facility will be more than just a place to watch the game.”

Harrison says the Glendale stadium will have a 1,400-foot-long lake as part of the facility. The lake will have an aesthetic function as well as serve as the irrigation source for the lush landscaping that will create a park-like setting at the stadium.

“This is not going to be a standard practice area,” Harrison says. “It’s going to be an aesthetically pleasing setting with benches so fans can enjoy their surroundings.”

Based on a 2006 economic impact study conducted by Economic Research Associates for the city of Glendale, the economic impact of moving the Dodgers and White Sox to Glendale could be as much as $19 million per year for the region.

“The new spring training facility fits well in our sports and entertainment district,” says Jennifer Liewer, senior marketing and communications manager for the city of Glendale. “The Dodgers and White Sox want to make this something that will last and be part of the community, so we know that when they get to Glendale it will become their home as well.”

The Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds will play at the Goodyear Ballpark, which will be located on a 3-acre parcel south of Yuma Road and east of Estrella Parkway. The ballpark will open in March 2009 for spring training for the Indians. The Cincinnati Reds will move their spring training operations to Arizona in 2010.

HOK Sport of Kansas City designed the baseball complex, which will have 8,000 lower-bowl fixed seats, 500 premium seats, 1,400 berm seats, six luxury suites, 3,000 parking spaces, and a state-of-the-art scoreboard and public address system. It will also have two group event areas: an outfield pavilion and bar with berm seating for 400 and a third-floor party deck behind home plate that will hold 150 people. Barton Marlow, a national construction services company out of Michigan, is building the ballpark complex.

The Goodyear Recreational Sports Complex, which will house the Cleveland Indians’ clubhouse/player development facility and two practice fields, is under construction on a 52-acre site east of Estrella Parkway about a half-mile south of the Goodyear Ballpark. It will be completed this month, at which time the Indians will begin using it. The Indians will use the clubhouse and two practice fields year-round. Besides the clubhouse, the Goodyear Recreational Sports Complex has six full-baseball practice fields, two half-baseball practice fields, a 36,000 square foot agility field, six covered practice batting cages and tunnels, three open practice minor league batting tunnels, six pitching mounds for the major league and six for minor league, an observation tower for the major league fields and a scoreboard.

Goodyear citizens approved a bond election in 2004 for $10 million to help build the recreational sports fields, so the city will be able to use the four minor league fields 10 months of the year. Regis Reed, Goodyear’s senior project manager, says the city plans to use the fields for city events, youth programsand high school tournaments since the fields are lighted to high school standards.

Ticket prices at the Goodyear Ballpark will be comparable to other Cactus League facilities, which are $8 for a lawn seat and up to $27 for a club or premium seat.

Nathan Torres, stadium manager for the Goodyear Recreational Sports Complex, says that based on a 2007 Cactus League survey, the economic impact of the Cleveland Indians moving to Arizona in 2009 will be more than $23 million. That number will grow to more than $47 million when the Cincinnati Reds are introduced in 2010.