Salt River Fields to close temporarily; D-backs moving to Chase Field

Mar 18, 2020, 2:49 PM
Fans at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick watch a spring training baseball game between the Arizon...
Fans at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick watch a spring training baseball game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Salt River Fields, the spring training home and defacto headquarters of the Diamondbacks during the coronavirus hiatus, has closed, general manager Mike Hazen said in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday.

“We were notified today that Salt River Fields will be closing,” Hazen said. “So we are going to be suspending operations there and, for the 40-man players, we will be transitioning operation down to Chase [Field] to continue to provide an avenue for guys if they need it. I don’t know exactly what that’s going to look like. We are getting our arms around the logistics of that now.”

Even before the closure of the Salt River Fields, any workouts or on-site activities were optional; players were allowed to return home at their discretion. To date, the Diamondbacks have had no members of its organization test positive for coronavirus, Hazen said, and one minor league player tested negative.

Players were expected to begin the optional workouts at the facility on Monday in staggered shifts so as to avoid large groups of people being in the building at once. Over the weekend, the site underwent a deep cleaning as the outbreak of COVID-19 prompted businesses of all kinds to take massive precautions.

Now, the D-backs return to their home ballpark that they haven’t used since before coronavirus changed life as we know it.

“We have spent time addressing the cleanliness of Chase Field this whole time, or at least in the very recent past here since this has become a very pressing topic and issue,” Hazen said. “We will have the same standards that would have applied at Salt River.”

Salt River Fields is a shared spring training facility for both the D-backs and the Colorado Rockies. The complex has its own general manager and office staff and hosts other events throughout the calendar year besides just baseball. The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community partnered with the two MLB teams to build the facility.

Chase Field, like Salt River Fields, has its own clubhouse, weight room, sports performance facilities and of course, a baseball diamond.

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