Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chase Field

401 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Chase Field is a sports venue to the Arizona Diamondbacks Baseball Team. Located on Jefferson Street and 7th Street, Chase Field is the ideal example of the Phoenix sports experience. Architect Ellerbe Becket wanted to build a venue for Phoenix that can people can come and enjoy the game with family and friends. The then-named Bank One Ballpark is over 407 feet from home plate to center field.  It can sit a capacity of 49,033 people with a variety of dining options to choose from.  The main feature of this ballpark is the retractable roof.  The reason for the roof was to keep out the desert heat during summer baseball. On March 31, 1998, the Arizona Diamondbacks made their debut before a packed house of over 3.6 million fans.

Before Chase Field existed, it was home to the second Chinatown was there from 1890-1960. The “first” Chinatown was established in Jerome, AZ, in the 1870s. Chinese immigrants came to Arizona, working as railroad workers.  They established the first Chinatown in downtown Phoenix where US Airways Arena stands today. All buildings have been torn down except for the Sun Mercantile Building. Also known as “Sun Merc”, the Sun Mercantile Building is a warehouse designed by E.W. Bacon and constructed by Wells & Son in 1929. In 1985, Sun Merc was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and became a historic landmark in 1987. In the mid 2000's, there were plans to build a new $200 million dollar luxury hotel and condominiums.  The hotel would sit on top of the Sun Mercantile Building, tearing off the roof and preserving only the base. The Asian American community and historical preservationists rallied together to display their disapproval of the plans. Despite their efforts, the city council did not give in and the project was given approval for construction. As a result, a lawsuit was filed against the city of Phoenix.  In fall of 2007 a judge ruled "the Phoenix City Council had improper talks with Sarver (the Developer) before it decided the fate of the warehouse on the hotel site." Plans to build the luxury hotel and condominiums were stopped. Today there is a Chinatown-themed shopping center called the Chinese Cultural Center. The architecture reflects traditional Chinese architecture. This center was opened in 1997 near the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

- Daniel Munoz and Amanda Nishikubo


Sun Mercantile Building. Wikipedia <>

Chase Field: History, photos, and more the Arizona Diamondbacks ballpark, <>

Chase Field Information-Chase Field History. <>

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