Scottsdale Stadium

The Scottsdale Development Review Board on February 21 approved plans for the first phase of the Scottsdale Stadium renovation project, which includes an expansion of the Charro Lodge in right field. (Courtesy the Scottsdale Charros)

The San Francisco Giants kicked off its Cactus League schedule last weekend, bring the city one step closer to the first phase of its multi-year renovation to Scottsdale Stadium.

The city plans to start the first phase of construction shortly after the Cactus League wraps up at the end of March.

Before that can happen, the city still has to finalize projected costs for the project and identify a funding mechanism to pay for the first phase, which will include rebuilding the Giants clubhouse and adding 10,000 square feet of multiuse space.

The first phase will also include expansion of the Charro Lodge in right field and renovation of the stadium’s entry plaza.

Some council members have in the past unofficially floated the idea of using revenues from bed tax collections to the fund the renovation.

No stadium-related items appear on a list of projects being considered by the City Council for inclusion on a bond election that it may call for late 2019.

Bill Murphy, Scottsdale Community Services executive director, said the city does not yet have cost estimates from its design-build team but that he expects those estimates will be available soon.

Early projections pegged the total cost for renovations at $40 million to $60 million, though Murphy noted that is likely to change once the city has more accurate information from the design-build team.

The city has already allocated $244,524 to develop the stadium’s masterplan, and awarded a $3.7-million design-build contract to Hunt Construction Group.

That design-build contract was paid for from $5 million from the Tourism Development Fund that the City Council set aside for stadium design.

Whatever the total cost of the renovations ends up being, it will be broken up over several years as the city plans to phase the renovation during times when the stadium is not in use to avoid conflicts with Cactus League play and the Arizona Fall League.

The project made progress on Feb. 21 when the city’s Development Review Board unanimously approved the site plan, building elevations and other details for the first phase of the stadium project.

The city has also taken steps to estimate the benefit the new renovations will bring to city coffers.

The addition of the multiuse space is part of a larger plan by the city to generate additional revenue through the stadium by hosting conferences, business groups and other events when the facilities are not in use by the Giants.

The City Council on Feb. 19 approved a contract worth $23,992.80 with the L. William Seidman Research Institute at Arizona State University’s W.P Carey School of Business to create an economic impact analysis for the stadium improvements.

Murphy said the analysis will help the city forecast costs and revenues associated with the renovated facility into the future.

According to a City Council memo, the analysis will look at a variety of factors, including the short-term fiscal impact of the renovations and the long-term impact of the stadium as a whole.

The report will also look at the effect the stadium has on tourism and the potential lost revenues the city would face if it did not have a Cactus League tenant at the stadium.

That issue is not an immediate concern as the Giants agreement with the city runs through 2025 with two optional five-year extensions.