Major League Baseball and Arizona State University's School of Sustainability (ASU) today announced a groundbreaking 2018 Spring Training presented by Camping World partnership that will see the two organizations undertaking sustainability efforts during parts of the Cactus League schedule.Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the Spring Training home of the
Major League Baseball and Arizona State University's School of Sustainability (ASU) today announced a groundbreaking 2018 Spring Training presented by Camping World partnership that will see the two organizations undertaking sustainability efforts during parts of the Cactus League schedule.
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the Spring Training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, will be the focus site of the "Recycle Rally" initiative that will test and implement zero waste strategies with the overarching goals of reducing landfill impact, increasing operational efficiencies and improving the fan experience across all Cactus League ballparks. This new and unique partnership will launch tomorrow Wednesday, February 21st when the Arizona Diamondbacks host Arizona State University for a Spring Training exhibition game. Salt River Fields is expected to host nearly 300,000 fans over the course of the 2018 Spring Training presented by Camping World.
As part of the initiative, a group of eleven ASU undergraduate and graduate students will analyze the waste stream and operations at Salt River Fields to help the venue become more environmentally friendly. ASU will then determine how the D-backs and Rockies can minimize, and most effectively manage, waste, including adopting effective waste diversion practices at the ballpark through recycling, reusing and composting. Additionally, the partnership will engage fans during Spring Training games at Salt River Fields through a series of interactive and fun-focused activities that educate about the challenges and impacts of waste.
"The Arizona Diamondbacks are proud to call Salt River Fields home and are excited to partner with Arizona State University and Major League Baseball on this initiative," said Arizona Diamondbacks President & CEO Derrick Hall. "We want do our part to ensure that future generations of D-backs fans can appreciate the beautiful Arizona landscape and will continue to focus on improving sustainability efforts throughout Spring Training and all season long at Chase Field."
"The Rockies continue to put a strong emphasis on sustainability at Coors Field, so we are very proud that this partnership with ASU and MLB will educate us and further minimize the environmental impact of the entire Salt River Fields complex, making an already LEED Gold Certified facility even better," said Colorado Rockies Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Greg Feasel.
While Salt River Fields will be the initial focus of the initiative, MLB and ASU will work with individual Clubs to incorporate a snapshot-level analysis for all Cactus League ballparks in 2018. The groups will visit each of the 10 Cactus League ballparks at least once during Spring Training for high-level analysis, documentation of current waste systems, and recommending opportunities for improvement.
"Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is a LEED Gold Certified MLB Spring Training Complex, owned and operated by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community," said Dave Dunne, General Manager of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. "Salt River Fields is proud to partner with ASU and MLB on a zero waste initiative, as taking care of the land we are on is extremely important to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Colorado Rockies and the Salt River Community."
"This is a perfect partnership for ASU's School of Sustainability," said Christopher Boone, Dean of the School of Sustainability, Arizona State University. "One of our core purposes is to use our expertise and innovation to create meaningful change in our community - and ultimately, nationally and globally too. We are thrilled to be able to let our faculty and students apply their classroom knowledge in a real-world setting and help the Cactus League aim for the ambitious goal of zero waste."
To further environmental efforts in Arizona this Spring Training, MLB will also work with Change the Course, a national freshwater restoration campaign, to offset 100% of water usage in the Cactus League this year by rehabilitating endangered watersheds and help to restore five million gallons of freshwater in critically depleted rivers and streams across Arizona. Presently, the entire state of Arizona is experiencing moderate drought conditions with about half the state being in the severe drought category, while parts of southeastern and east-central Arizona are in the extreme drought category.