In an effort to pay homage to the sport that has done so much for the southern Arizona tourist and recreation economy, city officials in Scottsdale are talking about building a baseball museum.
The city has issued a Request for Qualifications asking for ideas on putting up what it calls a “modern, first-class facility” that would celebrate both the history of professional baseball, as well as its long-standing role in the Phoenix metro area.
As planned, the facility would feature a series of interactive exhibits and would most likely see construction on land between the Scottsdale Stadium and the Civic Center parking garage off of Drinkwater Boulevard.
Depending upon the responses to the RFQ, Scottsdale city officials have said that they would like to have a signed agreement with a developer in hand by the end of this summer, subject to the final approval of the Scottsdale City Council.
If that approval is secured, work on the museum could begin sometime in 2021.
In an earlier Request for Proposals for the project that did not generate much response, the city made it clear that the developer would be responsible for all construction costs and future operations of the facility.
Baseball in Scottsdale and metro Phoenix goes back to at least 1904 when the University of Arizona inaugurated its first team. By 1947, the Cleveland Indians were regularly spending the spring training season in Tucson, and sometimes joined by team part-owner Bob Hope.
The Major League Arizona Diamondbacks, meanwhile, are based in Phoenix and have played at the Chase Field since 1998. The team attracted an average of 26,300 people per game last year.
The submission deadline for the baseball museum RFQ is March 31.
By Garry Boulard
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