A Place in the Sun

Through experience, Barton Malow knows that building stadiums in the Arizona desert requires unusual strategies to overcome resource, schedule and environmental challenges. Goodyear Complex, the new spring training center for the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds, is a case in point.

Water supply was a concern. The 100+ acres of grass for fields, parking lots and common areas require about 100,000 gallons of water per day for site maintenance and aesthetics. During preconstruction, the project team determined that a 3-million-gallon lake, located between the two developments, would meet requirements. The lake uses reclaimed and potable water sources, and includes a 1200 GPM pump system.

Wet weather in the desert? Unexpectedly, drenching rainstorms resulted in 20 lost workdays. To recover lost time and limit overtime costs, Barton Malow stacked more trades throughout the site and had key subcontractors bring in additional crews.

The project team experienced varying soil conditions. For instance, while excavating the ballpark bowl, Barton Malow hit caliche, a concrete-like material, at the footing locations for the main retaining walls. Excavation required use of jackhammers and hole rams to drill through the caliche and install footings.

Granular sand located at the Indians’ dugout and at random areas around the bowl created unstable barring areas. With the soils engineer, the building team removed the granular sand, replacing it with a sand-slurry mix. Over 100 cubic yards of material was removed and replaced, with minimal schedule impact.

Spring training facilities are usually sodded, but Goodyear was “sprigged.” Plugs of grass taken from sod, sprigs minimize the logistics, schedule and cost issues associated with sod. This method results in flatter fields, improving player safety, and in this case, resulting in savings of approximately $500,000.

Successful teams – baseball and construction – demonstrate collaboration and creativity. Here, the City of Goodyear, baseball clubs, architect, subcontractors, vendors and builder worked with a single purpose, and though set in a challenging environment, the construction process flourished.

Alex Ivanikiw, AIA, LEED AP

“'Boredom' does not exist at Barton Malow for me. I continue to enjoy and learn from the diversity of our staff, our projects, the delivery methods we utilize, and our broad base of clients - everyday is a new and great experience!”