On November 16, 1995 ground was broken for the $354 million baseball palace that was to become Bank One Ballpark. How appropriate that Jerry Colangelo would hold a silver shovel with a handle shaped like a baseball bat to bring life back to a deteriorated section of downtown Phoenix.
Over the course of the next 28 months, the landscape of the Phoenix skyline would change forever. Towering over the other buildings in Phoenix, Bank One Ballpark is at once nostalgic resembling a long lost era in Major League Baseball's past while displaying its technological and engineering accomplishments.
The stadium was renamed Chase Field on September 23, 2005 season as a result of Bank One being purchased by Chase.
Lost in there are some little known facts about the ballpark that will both educate and amaze you.
- The playing field is actually 25 feet below street level. If all the trucks hauling dirt away were parked end to end, the line would reach from Bank One Ballpark to Flagstaff and then extend another 50 miles along Interstate 40.
- The east and west trusses that hold up the roof each contain 2.4 million pounds of steel and were lifted 175 feet straight up. This lift was accomplished using 4 hydraulic jacks each with a lifting capacity of 400 tons.
- The retractible roof is comprised of 9 million pounds of structural steel and uses the same technology found in drawbridges and overhead traveling cranes.
- A pair of 200-horsepower motors open or close the roof in slightly more than four minutes, utilizing more than four miles of cable strung through a pulley system.
- Each half of the roof consists of three moveable trusses which telescope over a fixed end truss. The east and west sides of the roof can operate either in unison or independently. Either side of the roof can be opened to any position in order to maximize sunlight on the turf and minimize it on the interior steel and concrete.
- When the roof is fully retracted the opening is almost 5.5 acres.
- There was enough concrete used in the construction of Bank One Ballpark to create a sidewalk 4 feet wide and 4 inches thick that would stretch from Phoenix to San Diego California.
- The restroom facilities at Bank One Ballpark include 340 toilets located in the womens restrooms. There are 55 toilets accompanied by 218 urinals designated for use in the mens restrooms.
- When sod was laid at Bank One Ballpark, it takes an entire crew 3 days to install the 110,000 square feet of grass. That is enough grass to cover nearly 3 acres.
- 8,000 tons of air conditioning are used to cool Bank One Ballpark. The system is designed to bring the temperature down by 30 degrees in three hours. It's enough air conditioning to cool more than 2,500 houses that are 1,600 square feet each.
- The air handlers push 1.2 million cubic feet of air per minute across cooling coils containing water chilled to 48 degrees (several degrees cooler than an average residential system).
- The cost for building Bank One Ballpark has been estimated at $349 Million. Of that money, $238 Million came from public funds through a quarter-cent sales tax. The remainder of the cost of the facility was paid by the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball club.
- The solar pavilion in front of the ballpark will generate 75 kilowatts of solar power, enough electricity to power 8-10 homes.