Mesa v. Naples – Cubs Spring Training Battle Alive & Kicking

Posted on 01 November 2009 by Lou

The Chicago Cubs have called Mesa, Arizona their “home away from home” during the Spring since 1979.  But it looks like that could come to an end if the Ricketts Family decides to move the team’s spring training facilities from Arizona to Florida – and specifically Naples…

What the team is looking for – 120 contiguous acres; stadium with seating capacity of at least 15,000; 6 practice fields; sufficient parking; and a training complex that could be used 11 months out of the calendar year.

Arizona’s edge – the team is comfortable in Arizona having been there since the 1950′s.  Their current home has been the team’s site since 1979.  Mesa city leaders have indicated that they will do everything possible to keep the Cubs in Arizona.  They have highlighted a large-scale development area near the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport where Gaylord Entertainment Co. plans to builds a resort and conference center within the next few years.  The Cubs new facility would be nearby that center.  Travel times between Cactus League teams average just 30 minutes – travel time among the Grapefruit League teams in Florida is much longer with an average of 3 hours between sites.

Florida’s edge – it would be something new.  Florida has proposed developing a “Wrigley Village” that will be a “destination spot” for Cubs fans all across the country.  The Florida group has started a website called floridacubs.com but they said that they will not get into a bidding war with Mesa.  Florida reps have indicated that Arizona has had to build 3 facilities for the Cubs in 50+ years and they now have to build another for the team.  The site in Florida would be a state-of-the-art facility that would hold the Cubs operations for years to come.

We’ll keep you posted as this all plays out over the next few months…

chicago cubs spring training mesa arizona naples florida

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  1. Update: Future Spring Training Site - Arizona v. Florida | My Cubs Today Says:

    [...] is pretty exciting stuff.  And it has come a long way since we first reported on the potential move way back in November.  Could the Cubs make an announcement at this weekend’s Cubs Convention?  We’ll keep [...]

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