Plans Progressing on Park for the Dodgers

Carrie Watters, writing in the Arizona Republic, reports that five companies are under consideration to design Glendale's newest professional sports venue, a spring training stadium for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox. Local officials hope to be playing in 2009.

A decision is expected to be made in the next week or so and ground will be broken for the new site as soon as possible. The final agreement with the teams and the Arizona Sports Tourism Authority is hammering out details.

The sports authority in December agreed to provide two-thirds of the funding for an estimated $80.7 million spring training facility. The stadium will be on a 120-acre parcel of Glendale-owned land in west Phoenix at the northwestern corner of Camelback Road and 107th Avenue. The stadium is expected to have 12,000 seats, luxury boxes and 3,000 lawn seats.

The Dodgers will leave many old spring training opponents and join an entirely new group, including the other four National League West teams: Arizona, Colorado, San Diego and San Francisco. Others training in Phoenix include Anaheim, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Chicago -- both Cubs and White Sox, Seattle and Texas. The Diamondbacks and White Sox play in Tucson, but the Sox with join the Dodgers and another team from Florida will be recruited to play in Tucson to make it an even dozen teams.

The five firms bidding on the project -- OK Sport, HKS Architects, DLR Group and a joint proposal from 360 Architecture and Barker -- all have glossy resumes.

HOK's remarkable portfolio includes design work on University of Phoenix Stadium and spring training facilities in both Peoria and Surprise. The company, based in Kansas City, Missouri, also designed major league stadiums in Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Colorado, New York (both Mets and Yankees) , Minnesota, Washington, St. Louis and San Francisco as well as a number of minor league parks.

HKS, based in Dallas, designed the Dallas Cowboys' stadium, which opens in 2009, and the Indianapolis Colts' facility, which opens next year. In baseball, it worked on renovations at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

DLR Group has a baseball focus, and has designed 12 spring training facilities, including the New York Yankees' stadium in Florida and renovation work at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

360 Architecture was recently awarded a contract to design the Oakland Athletics' ballpark and has done work on Chase Field in Phoenix.

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