Going north on the Glendale (2) Freeway, you run into a very unfamiliar sight amide the undeveloped brush of the hillsides, a modern sports complex complete with night lights.
You might ask yourself the question - How did that get there? It was almost six years ago, when the idea for a sports complex finally came to fruition. In 1999, the final dedications of this complex was under way for a structure of not just one baseball diamond like in most parks, but three.
That isn't all. Located to the south of this area are two regulation soccer fields, and to top it off, a community building and an office. The project itself runs a total of 26 acres in all. Trying to enter the complex from the freeway is not an easy task and requires some maneuvering.
The best solution is by going on North Verdugo Avenue, turning onto Fern Lane, and taking a spectacular tour of some magnificent homes leading to the complex. Once you have arrived, you can see the quality that the developers of Hirsch and Associates had to do to design such a spectacular development. A classy entrance gives you the feeling that this is more than just a ball field, but it is just what it says on the front sign: "Sports Complex."
Several local high school teams and sports leagues keep the fields in continuous use throughout the year both in the daytime and at night.
However, this unusual facility is not the only one of its kind in the country. Many people in the past have put a lot of thinking into trying to develop a place where major American sports such as baseball and football can be put into just one huge parcel of land.
A good example of this is in Kansas City, Mo, where the Kansas City Royals baseball team plays right next door to the city's football team, the Chiefs. It certainly sits in the heart of America, plus the fact that plenty of land is used to make sure that during September or October they don't schedule both sports at the same time.
But to compare the two takes some explaining. The same theories apply, but as in the case of Glendale, a smaller field, or in this case, fields, are in more in tuned with a smaller facility. However, if an idea to build two huge stadiums in a mountainous area next to the highway might be unacceptable for the Royals and Chiefs, in Glendale's case, just having a small area makes up for leaving more to produce.
The credit for keeping all the fields in top shape goes to the maintenance department of the facility, which is based just north of the complex. Every day all the mowers, water trucks and other construction equipment take off to keep the areas in perfect shape.
So perfect that some of the three baseball diamonds are not used at all for practice, but for important games. But still many things need to be completed before the whole facility can hold every event. The soccer fields for example, require routine maintenance, and the hunt for a good part of grass is missing, as the truck keeps the field moist with its water truck.
But progress continues on the complex. Fate has even stepped in to help the development of the facility. A huge fire hit the mountainous area just months before the fields were set for construction, but the section where the facility now stands escaped the raging inferno.
No major events are scheduled to be played in the near future at the complex, but other sports are in progress such as basketball which has been underway since March, and softball which began in May.
Finally, there is the most important part of the complex, the community building and office which handles all the equipment and everything you need to know about renting out sports items or finding out what sport is being played and when. More information is available by calling the hotline at 548-6420, or by going online at the park's web site at www.eteamz.com/glendalesports.
So next time you are driving on the 2 Freeway during the day and you see something strange along the mountainside, or at night, when bright lights catch your attention, it's simply the Glendale Sports Complex.