(Editor’s note: News releases are published unedited, unless they contain factual errors.)
(Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents HOME: The Baseball Experience)
Sports Executive Marc Appleman and Former Leo Burnett CEO Rick Fizdale Head Up New Venture
PHOENIX — May 15, 2018 – Fleetwood Projects, LLC announced today its plan to build a one-of-a-kind immersive, technology-based baseball attraction in the Phoenix area that will be known as “HOME: The Baseball Experience.” It is exploring locations within the Talking Stick Entertainment District, which is located within the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
Marc Appleman has been named as the CEO of Fleetwood Projects, LLC. A sports media executive with more than 35 years of experience, Appleman will continue as CEO of SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) until July 2018, when he will officially take over at HOME: The Baseball Experience. Appleman is an innovative and visionary executive who has overseen numerous major launches and projects at SABR, ESPN, AOL Sports, Fox Sports and SI for Kids.
“Located in what has become the Western capital of baseball, HOME: The Baseball Experience will be a unique attraction that focuses on how the game is played today,” said Appleman. “Our goal is to reinforce the emotional connection people have with baseball and to deepen their understanding of the game. It will not be a museum with artifacts and memorabilia under glass, but rather an experiential attraction where guests can be active participants.”
The Chairman of Fleetwood Projects, LLC is Rick Fizdale, the former Chairman and CEO of Leo Burnett Worldwide. “Through the use of holograms, virtual reality and other cutting-edge technologies, HOME: The Baseball Experience will reveal hidden truths, fresh insights and little-known stories that will expand every fan’s knowledge about the sport in ways that are easy-to-understand and fun to experience,” said Fizdale.
HOME: The Baseball Experience expects to draw its audience from the millions of visitors who regularly come to Arizona for Spring Training, Arizona Fall League attendees, Arizona residents, tourists to the Phoenix area, and baseball fans across the country and around the world.
Vince Gennaro, President of the SABR Board, said: “SABR is proud to have been a key part of the incubation of this exciting project. We look forward to seeing the leadership of Marc and Rick make HOME: The Baseball Experience a reality.”
The attraction will demonstrate how analytics and technology have changed the game. It will allow visitors to watch baseball from unique perspectives, including the dugout, press box and bullpen. It will highlight on the growing dominance of Latinos in baseball and the success of the Cactus League. There will be a major STEM initiative geared toward students.
Dozens of other baseball experiences are on the drawing board. There are plans for activities and events for children and families, a movie theater/auditorium that will be home to special events and conferences, as well as a baseball themed restaurant and retail space.
AECOM produced the initial feasibility study for the project; HKS, the architect for Salt River Fields at Talking Stick and Camelback Ranch, has been involved with the project from the beginning; and BRC Imagination Arts is the design and production agency that will help create the experiential content.
“HOME: The Baseball Experience is an exciting project that we’re thrilled to be a part of,” said Brad Shelton, Creative Director at BRC Imagination Arts. “This is the place every baseball fan has dreamed about – fully immersive, wildly entertaining – and as good as the game itself. It’s going to be a true home for baseball fans, where hopes, dreams and the love of baseball are rekindled with every visit.”
Fleetwood Projects Board of Directors
- Marc Appleman: CEO of Fleetwood Projects, LLC, Founder
- Alan Augenstein: CPA and former Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
- Rick Fizdale: Chairman of Fleetwood Projects, LLC, Founder
- Vince Gennaro: President of SABR, Associate Dean at NYU’s Tisch Institute for Global Sport
- Lewis Levey: Founding member and Chairman of Enhanced Value Strategies, Inc. and Founder of and Managing Director of Paragon Group, Inc.
The Fleetwood Projects development team is comprised of the following companies and organizations:
AECOM: AECOM is the world’s largest and leading tourism and attraction consulting firm, and Economics is an integral part of our approach to solving problems with creative and integrated solutions. Our founding client for economic consulting was Walt Disney in 1958. Since then, AECOM has completed more than 18,000 consulting studies for private and public sector clients worldwide. AECOM has been instrumental in the planning and development of many of the most well-known recreation, entertainment, cultural, educational, and tourist attractions in the world. Our relationships with our clients, major operators and developers have provided us with an intuitive grasp of market nuances and industry trends, leading to careful, thoughtful, and detailed planning, development and operations. We bring unparalleled experience in helping our clients reach sound decisions about visitor experiences, programs, finances, achievable revenues, marketing, and operations.
Talking Stick Entertainment District: The Talking Stick Entertainment District is Arizona’s premier place to play. With a luxurious 4-diamond resort and spa, thrilling casino, 36-holes of championship golf, a state-of-the-art Major League Baseball spring training facility, America’s largest butterfly conservancy, and unparalleled year-round entertainment, the Talking Stick Entertainment District has a little something for everyone. Located just off the 101 freeway and Talking Stick Way on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the Talking Stick Entertainment District is home to Talking Stick Golf Club, Talking Stick Resort, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, The Pavilions at Talking Stick, Octane Raceway, iFLY Phoenix, OdySea Aquarium, Butterfly Wonderland, Pangea Land of the Dinosaurs, Topgolf, the Courtyard Marriott Scottsdale Salt River, Hampton Inn & Suites Riverwalk and soon, Great Wolf Lodge Arizona & Medieval Times Arizona.
HKS: HKS was the architect for Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Camelback Ranch and the new Maryvale Baseball Park reinvention. HKS is a team of more than 1,400 architects, interior designers, urban designers, scientists, artists, structural engineers, anthropologists and other professionals working together across industries and across the globe to create places that delight, heal and stimulate peak performance. We have nurtured a culture of extraordinary people with curious and creative minds who are passionate about delivering elegant solutions that solve our clients’ challenges. Our research teams dig deep to discover processes and ideas that improve outcomes – then they share them freely for everyone’s benefit. In all we do, we are mindful of the fragility of all life and of the planet.
BRC Imagination Arts: BRC Imagination Arts is an experiential design and production agency that creates transformative experiences that audiences love. For more than three decades, our masterful storytellers have helped notable cultural, museum, and brand experiences all over the world tell their stories in ways that engage and inspire audiences. BRC Imagination Arts has worked with some of the most respected and acclaimed destinations in the world, including the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, Guinness Storehouse, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Henry Ford, Heineken Experience, Jameson Distillery Bow St., the Milwaukee Brewers’ Miller Park and many more.
SABR: The Society for American Baseball Research is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering research and focusing on history and analytics. Founded in 1971, SABR has 6,000 members worldwide and has established itself as a vibrant part of the baseball community. SABR features 74 regional chapters and 31 research committees and produces three annual publications – two editions of The Baseball Research and The National Pastime – in addition to numerous e-books. SABR also hosts annual events, including the National Convention each summer and the SABR Analytics Conference in March in Phoenix.
Snell & Wilmer: Founded in 1938, Snell & Wilmer is a full-service business law firm with more than 400 attorneys practicing in 11 locations throughout the United States and in Mexico, including Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Los Angeles and Orange County, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; Washington, D.C.; Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Los Cabos, Mexico. The firm represents clients ranging from large, publicly traded corporations to small businesses, individuals and entrepreneurs.
Jenner & Block: Jenner & Block is a law firm with global reach, with more than 500 lawyers and offices in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, DC. The firm is known for its prominent and successful litigation practice and experience handling sophisticated and high-profile corporate transactions. Firm clients include Fortune 100 companies, large privately held corporations, financial services institutions, emerging companies and venture capital and private equity investors. The American Lawyer recognized the firm as the #1 pro bono firm in the United States seven of the past 10 years; the firm has been ranked among the top 10 in this category every year since 1990.
Rose Law Group: Provides strategic government, business and community partnership advice. RLG is a full-service business law firm and the largest law firm owned by a woman in Arizona history. Rose Law Group is involved in most large-scale development projects in the Phoenix and Pinal County area and has a reputation for devising creative solutions to complicated problems.
LAVIDGE: LAVIDGE is a Phoenix-based unified marketing services agency, offering advertising, public relations and digital marketing. Since 1982, LAVIDGE has specialized in discovering and communicating insights that engage, motivate and inspire – helping clients across a broad range of industry sectors reach their business goals. LAVIDGE’s clients range from healthcare and technology, to personal care and food service and include Arizona State University, Banner Health, ISM Raceway, United Rentals and many more. Company offices are located at 2777 E. Camelback Road in Phoenix. For more information, visit the agency website at Lavidge.com, follow on Twitter or friend on Facebook.