Update: Future Spring Training Site – Arizona v. Florida

Posted on 14 January 2010 by Lou

A decision as to whether the Cubs play future spring training games in Mesa, Arizona or in Naples, Florida could come as early as next week.  The investment group trying to lure the Chicago Cubs to Naples consists of Chicago-based Esmark Inc. and Naples-based Fifth Avenue Advisors.  The group held a press conference today to highlight the numerous local and state benefits related to a Cubs move east.

As the top draw in the Cactus League, the Cubs bring in an estimated $52 million in revenue to the State of Arizona.  Compare that with the approximate $24 million in revenue that out-of-state Red Sox fans bring into Florida during spring training and you can see why Florida would love to have the Cubs.  If you throw in the proposed Wrigley Village that private investors would build up around the Cubs complex, the Cubs revenue impact in and around Naples would be a year-round affair.  That means good things for all residents of the state of Florida.  The other good news for area residents – no county sales tax or property tax would go towards funding the new Cubs facility.  All funding to build the complex would come from private sources and from fees paid by out-of-state tourists and state funds that have already been set aside for the Florida baseball industry.

This 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 you posted as soon we hear anything…

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