Launch Slideshow

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Big league brokering

Big league brokering

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    FEBRUARY 2008One month into construction the layout of the 150-acre Camelback Ranch – Glendale complex takes shape. Glendale Municipal Airport is at the top of this picture, just northwest of the stadium. Photos: Stanley Consultants

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    MAY 2008Concrete placement begins for major structures. A Southwest flair will eventually be reflected in stacked natural stone walls and an earthy color palette.

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    AUGUST 2008Natural turf is installed on the first of 12 practice fields. A three-acre lake is dug to separate the Los Angeles Dodgers (on the right with turf in place) and Chicago White Sox practice fields. Each team has one field that exactly mimics the dimensions of their home stadium.

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    DECEMBER 2008After 11 months all major elements are in place. With 13,000 seats, the structure on the right is the nation's largest spring training stadium. The outfield was built 12 feet belowgrade to improve sight lines.

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    JANUARY & FEBRUARY 2009One month before opening day, workers concentrate on the final details: sidewalks, painting, signs, equipment installation, and cleaning up. Five concession buildings, 4,000 parking spaces, and an orange grove flank the stadium.

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    MARCH 2009Cambelback Ranch - Glendale opens for its first preseason game March 1 with the White Sox defeating the Dodgers 3-2.

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    A manmade lake separating the two sets of practice fields is charged by the 11.2-mgd Glendale West Area Water Reclamation Facility. Used for irrigation, the lake is stocked with fish. Water is kept from seeping through the sandy desert soil with a 30-mil PVC liner covered with 12 inches of clean native soil ballast.

By: Greg Gesicki, PE

Camelback Ranch – Glendale
Owner: City of Glendale
Cost: $113 million
Delivery-method: Construction manager-at-risk
Construction manager: Mortensen Construction, Minneapolis

Last year's opening of Camelback Ranch – Glendale in Arizona generated considerable buzz in the Major League Baseball world. The Cactus League spring training facility shared by the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox is receiving rave reviews for its family-friendly campus, fan-friendly stadium, and eye-popping architecture. In fact, it's a grand slam.

But while much ado has been made over the complex, several other aspects of the project deserve a closer look.

Though built on property owned by the City of Glendale, the facility is physically located within the city limits of Phoenix. Glendale bought the property more than 20 years ago to serve as a buffer zone to an adjacent airport and preclude the construction of facilities that might intrude on restricted air space.