Gilbert, AZ 85234
(West of Power Rd, on Elliot)
This park is currently closed for repairs.
Due to litigation between the Town and Big League Dreams Gilbert, LLC, the Town will not be responding to requests for comment or information regarding Elliot District Park or the legal proceedings. For general information about park repairs, and other frequently asked questions, please see below.
In response to the Town’s closure of Elliot District Park in July 2017 due to significant safety issues at the Park, BLD filed a motion for preliminary injunction requesting that the Court order the Town to reopen Elliot District Park and allow BLD to resume operations. The preliminary injunction hearing was held on January 23, 2018, where the Court took testimony from BLD and Town staff to determine whether the Town’s decision to close the Park was unlawful, arbitrary, or unreasonable.
On January 29, 2018, the Court filed a minute entry order denying BLD’s request for an injunction. Specifically, the Court found that the Town’s decision to close the Park was both lawful and within its authority. The Court noted that, in determining whether to close the Park, the Town relied on the opinions of two independent structural engineers, as well as the recommendation of the Town Engineer.
In 2005, the Town of Gilbert entered into a contract with Big League Dreams Gilbert, LLC (BLD) to operate and maintain the Town’s beautiful, first-class sports park. Unfortunately, the Town has lost confidence in BLDs’ ability or willingness to honor the terms of its agreement, and the Town Council has terminated BLD’s contract. Safety and protecting the economic health of our community are the Town’s priorities. We look forward to making the necessary repairs and reopening the park in early 2019.
In the Media
- East Valley Tribune: Big League Dreams, Gilbert disagree over safety report
- East Valley Tribune: Big League Dreams seeks compromise with Gilbert over closed stadiums
- The Arizona Republic: Big League Dreams to Gilbert: There are no safety concerns at ballpark
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are these repairs needed?
During the course of the design planning phase for park repairs, additional safety issues with the structural integrity of the outfield aesthetic grandstands were discovered, which has necessitated the immediate closure of the park out of an abundance of caution for the safety of park users. Shortcomings with the wall anchoring system have made the walls susceptible to movement – especially in windy conditions. You can review the original inspection report as well as a second opinion report from structural engineers here. With the imminent start of monsoon season, the Town is acting to protect the safety of our citizens.
ow will the Town pay for these repairs?
Funds for the park improvements will come from the proceeds of a settlement agreement that the Town reached with regard to construction issues when the park was originally built in 2007. The Town is also seeking monetary reimbursement from BLD for necessary repairs due to deferred maintenance and due to BLD’s contractual obligations to keep the park in a “first class” condition.
How can Gilbert close this park?
Elliot District Park is a public park owned by the Town. According to Municipal Code Section 46-32a, the parks and recreation director may temporarily close any part of a town recreation facility or riparian preserve for performance of routine maintenance or preparation for a reserved use, or when deemed necessary to protect public safety, property or wildlife. Notice shall be posted when an area has been closed.
The Town notified BLD about these safety issues in May, and asked BLD to address them in a timely manner. Unfortunately, BLD failed to do so and, because of the monsoon season and the threat of high winds, the Town was forced to take immediate action to protect the public.
Will the Town allow BLD to bring in their own engineer?
In April, BLD filed a lawsuit against the Town, and the Town then filed a countersuit against BLD. The Town and BLD currently are working under a process adopted by the court and is open to BLD having its own structural engineer conduct a reasonable inspection through the court rules.
Are there really safety issues or is this a "hidden agenda"?
At a recent press conference, BLD stated that there are no safety issues at the park and suggested that the Town has some sort of “hidden agenda.” BLD’s accusation is false. The Town has reports from two structural engineers who found that the grandstands are dangerous and unsafe. Addressing these significant safety concerns at this facility, and public safety in general, is the Town’s top priority. Unfortunately, BLD has failed to live up to its obligation to properly maintain the park and consequently, the park needs additional repairs directly related to BLD’s failure to properly maintain the park. The Town’s only “agenda” is to restore the park to “first class condition” as soon as possible, to protect the taxpayers’ investment, and to ensure the safety of all Town residents and visitors of the park.
What is going to happen to the leagues at this park?
The Town has offered to work with BLD on alternative arrangements to accommodate their league and tournament play whenever possible during the closure.
For more information regarding scheduling, refunds, or other game-related inquiries, please visit http://gilbert.bigleaguedreams.com.
For individual field rental requests, not part of a BLD league or tournament, please contact John Kennedy, Parks and Recreation Manager – Programs and Services at 480.503.6231 (office); 480.737.8230 (cell) or email at John.Kennedy@gilbertaz.gov with any questions you may have.
Why are the soccer fields closed if the safety concerns are with the grandstands?
We had to close the soccer fields because the access walkway to the Field House is also affected by the safety concerns related to the grandstands.
- 8 Lighted Replica Baseball Fields
- 20,000 sq. ft. indoor soccer pavilion
- Flag football fields
- Batting cages
- Stadium Club Restaurant
- Indoor Field House
- Stadium Seating
- Softball Leagues
Elliot District Park opened in January 2008 and includes 8 replica fields, a 20,000 sq. ft. indoor soccer pavilion, flag football fields, batting cages, and a Stadium Club restaurant. Activities offered include adult softball and indoor soccer leagues, tournaments (baseball, fastpitch and softball) and special events. Elliot District Park is currently closed for repairs and is anticipated to reopen in early 2019.
- 8 Replica Fields- The playing fields are built as scaled-down replicas of famous ballparks and include Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Sportsman's Park, D-Back Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Ebbet's Stadium and the Polo Grounds. All are designed to accommodate youth baseball, youth fast pitch softball, and adult slow pitch softball.
- Stadium Club Restaurant - The Stadium Club restaurant offers a wide variety of food and beverages that you can enjoy before, during or after your game. Everything from burgers and dogs, to sandwiches and salads is offered; with all sorts of tasty beverages! The Stadium Club offers the perfect view of all 8 replica stadiums, has 12 televisions to watch your favorite sporting event, and also has an arcade to keep the kids (and adults!) occupied.
- Field House- 20,000 sq. ft. field house is air-cooled and hosts indoor soccer leagues and tournaments as well as large banquets, team building and other group events.
- Playground equipment- Playground equipment is conveniently located next to the South Stadium Club Restaurant and replica fields and is protected by netting from foul balls. It's a great place for the little ones to entertain themselves so mom and dad can enjoy watching or playing a game!
- Batting Cages- Need some practice swings before your big game? Elliot District Park has four slow pitch and four baseball batting cages. Each cage is token operated and can also be rented for 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes. Bats and helmets are offered free of charge.
- Stadium Seating- Elliot District Park uses stadium-style seating for all of its replica fields. Each field has approximately 200 seats; all of which offer a perfect view!
- Leagues/Tournaments- Adult Softball, Indoor Soccer, Youth Baseball and Fast Pitch Softball leagues and tournaments are offered year round.