The Salinas Sports Complex Home of the California Rodeo Salinas
The Salinas Sports Complex is operated by the California Rodeo Association, Inc., a 501C3 not-for-profit organization who gives back between $200,000 and $300,000 to the local community each year. In partnership with the City of Salinas , the California Rodeo Association designed the Salinas Sports Complex to host not only the Rodeo but a wide variety of community and sports events that include concerts, football games, soccer games, motor events, festivals, and graduations.
The complex is located on 80 acres in Sherwood Park on land owned by the City of Salinas . The California Rodeo Association holds a 50 year lease with the City to run and maintain the facilities. For years the grounds were used only for staging the California Rodeo, while today the Salinas Sports Complex is a year round hub of activity.
Sherwood Park has been the home of the California Rodeo since 1911. Donated to the City by the Sherwood family in the late 1800s, the California Rodeo grew out of the donation's only stipulation: that a horse race be run on the grounds at least once every two years. The grandstands, racetrack and barns were constructed in 1924 and remained intact until the wooden grandstand structure was condemned in 1996. Faced with a difficult decision, the Rodeo Association chose not only to rebuild the grandstands but to raise funds to build a facility that could be used year round, adding to the longstanding tradition of the California Rodeo. Fundraising efforts for the new facilities reached almost 9 million dollars. The Association moved quickly and within a year of tearing down the old grandstands in 1996, the new facility was operating. The result of their work was the Salinas Spots Complex; a year round facility for the community to host family entertainment and sporting events.
The complex has set aside two baseball diamonds to be used by children ages 6-14. With the cooperation of the local little league, the once pasture land has been developed into play-off caliber fields. The league has over 250 children participating in league play from April through June.
With an eighty stall barn for local resident usage, the Complex has been able to keep the cost of the boarding down to encourage families to use the facilities. The Complex also works closely with High School Rodeo Clubs in the area and is the host site for district and zone finals.
The new softball complex consists of 5 softball fields and a practice soccer field. The project raised $1.3 million through grants and donations and much of the labor was donated by local firms and volunteers. Funds for the snack bar facilities were donated by the Downtown Salinas Rotary Club.
The fields are used for different local softball organizations and city recreational leagues. The parks department has seen a 25% increase in participation in their leagues as a direct result of the quality and location of these fields. Additionally, the softball complex will also host several zone and district tournaments.