Scottsdale Stadium economic impact analysis to assess community value

Scottsdale Stadium, 7408 E. Osborn Road, is the only Cactus League spring training stadium in a downtown setting. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

An economic impact study for improvements at Scottsdale Stadium is underway, which will, in-part, gauge the edifice’s local impact as well as provide an understanding for the level of potential lost revenue without MLB spring training occurring there.

Following a Feb. 19 Scottsdale City Council approval, the city has contracted with Arizona State University’s L. William Seidman Research Institute to perform an economic impact analysis for the stadium improvements, for $23,992.80.

Scottsdale Stadium, 7408 E. Osborn Road, is home to the San Francisco Giants for spring training, the Arizona Summer League and the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League. In addition, other city and community events are held at the stadium annually.

The scope of the approved economic analysis is to look at the short-term effects from improvements, continuous effects from annual operations and fiscal impacts attributed to the stadium.

In recent history, the City of Scottsdale, the San Francisco Giants and the Scottsdale Charros have shared a desire for a long-term extension of the Giants’ commitment to downtown Scottsdale, and recognize the need for multiple upgrades to the stadium. The current age of the stadium, larger crowd attendance and increased demand of events in the area has led to the completion of a masterplan for the stadium.

A view of Scottsdale Stadium in the heart of downtown Scottsdale just south of City Hall. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

On Sept. 20, 2016, the City Council authorized Populous Group, LLC to create master planning services for $244,524. This recently completed masterplan of the stadium included practice facilities and noted the stadium is also an integral part of the downtown Scottsdale retail and entertainment district, according to a city staff report.

The master plan identified and prioritized opportunities for the stadium upgrades to include greater multi-use activities that would benefit the area throughout the year.

On March 20, 2018, the council approved an appropriation of $5 million funded by the fiscal year 2017-18 tourism development fund undesignated, unreserved fund, to create a new capital improvement project for the renovations.

Following the budget appropriation, City Council on July 2, 2018, authorized a contract with Hunt Construction Group, Inc. for $3,701,125 for design-build manager and design-phase services for the Scottsdale Stadium multi-use event centers part of the renovations project.

The city staff report states with the purchasing process complete, it is the staff’s desire to complete the economic analysis.

“Deliverables will include a written report of a fully developed high-level economic and fiscal impact analysis based on existing research and data assumptions currently available to gauge overall impact of stadium activities from a business operation and tourism impact perspective as well as understanding in broad scope the level of potential lost revenue with the absence of an MLB Cactus League team for spring training, and one presentation of this report in a public setting if requested, at a date, time and place determined by the City’s Contract Administrator,” the staff report penned by Community Services Directly William Murphy states.

While planning what uses would have the largest economic impact for the community, the city’s community services staff has been working with Scottsdale’s economic development department, hoteliers, event planners and Experience Scottsdale to gather information, suggestions and input for what the community needs in an event center.

Northeast Valley News Editor Melissa Rosequist can be e-mailed at mrosequist@newszap.com or can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/mrosequist_.

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