Posted on 05 November 2010 by Lou
Mesa, Arizona will remain the spring training home for the Chicago Cubs after voters approved Mesa Proposition 420 earlier this week. 63% of all ballots cast supported the proposition. Now that Mesa voters have approved funding for the construction of a new spring training for the Cubs, the city will provide up to $99 million for the project. $84 million will be allocated to facility construction and the other $15 million will be allocated to infrastructure concerns. Anything over the $99 million mark will be covered by the Cubs organization. The new facility should be ready for the 2013 Spring Training schedule, so the Cubs have 2 more years left at HoHoKam Park in Mesa. The Cubs have trained in Mesa since 1979 and they have led the Cactus League in attendance 13 of the last 15 seasons.
Tom Ricketts was thrilled with the approval: “In a show of tremendous support in a particularly difficult economy, Mesa voters recognized the potential of partnering with the Chicago Cubs on an economic investment and future we can, together, create for the city. Our public-private partnership means jobs for Mesa, tourism dollars for the city and the region, and will drive private investment in Mesa and in the development of Wrigleyville West.”
Sorry, I guess I called it “Wrigley Field Southwest” not “Wrigleyville West” as Ricketts dubbed it. Can’t wait to check out the new digs in Mesa in 2013…
Posted on 14 October 2010 by Lou
Tom Ricketts is doing whatever it takes to make sure that the Cubs continue to call Mesa, Arizona “home” for the foreseeable future. Proposition 420 will be on the general election ballot in November and Ricketts is already in the Mesa area trying to drum up support for the bill. The proposition will allow the city to spend up to $84 million on a new spring training complex for the Cubs. City officials do not want to spend more than $15 million on the project, so the rest of the money will have to be approved by the voters. Any costs over the estimated $84 million will be covered by the Chicago Cubs.
The complex would include a stadium, practice fields and a training facility for the Cubs organization. The Cubs also want to build a retail and entertainment complex to create additional revenue streams near the Cubs site. Part of that entertainment complex could include a brand-new Cactus League museum. The Cubs have provided several pieces of Cubs memorabilia in a temporary exhibit at the Arizona Museum for Youth in order to raise awareness and excitement for the proposed complex. The Cubs are an important piece to the economy of the greater Phoenix area. Current records estimate that the team brings in about $138 million in revenue each year to the area. A new state-of-the-art complex would mean more jobs and even greater annual revenues for the area. But passing Proposition 420 is a big step toward that goal.
Ricketts had this to say about the Cubs staying in Mesa and the potential for a memorabilia museum — “Seeing this collection re-enforces the whole vision. You think about what you have here, what we could probably come up with from our own archives and maybe by asking other teams, it could be something very special and something people would want to see not just during Spring Training but year-round when they visit the area.” Looks like the Cubs are not set in stone in Mesa just yet. If Prop 420 passes, the Cubs could get to use their new digs as early as Spring 2013…
Posted on 31 January 2010 by Lou
The Chicago Cubs have decided to keep their Spring Training home in Mesa, Arizona. Once Mesa city officials unanimously approved a plan for the new and improved “Wrigleyville West”, Cubs officials jumped at the bit and gave the city the exclusive right to get the deal done. The development will include commercial properties, a shopping district and hotels and could occupy as much as 100 acres in the Phoenix suburb. The $84 million complex will also be the site of a brand new, state-of-the-art 15,000-seat ballpark.
The Naples, Florida bid to bring the Cubs to the Grapefruit League on the east coast in Florida is on hold for now.
I must say I am a little surprised by the decision. I know the Ricketts Family has ties in Florida, so Mesa must have made a great proposal to keep the Cubs in Arizona. It also shows the Cubs commitment to the area for all of the great things they have done for the Cubs over the last 57 years.
Posted on 23 January 2010 by Lou
As the world turns – the Cubs are currently reviewing a plan tendered by the city of Mesa, Arizona to keep the Chicago Cubs in the Cactus League during Spring Training for the next 25 years. Will it work – only time will tell as the Cubs are also mulling an offer from a Naples, Florida development group. The wooing is on…
Mesa’s Memorandum of Understanding proposes building a new 15,000-seat stadium for the Cubs with a modern facility that can be used by the club and fans alike year-round. The deal would be for a 25-year term. Reports indicated that the Cubs bring $52 million in annual revenue to the state of Arizona, so Mesa and the state want to do whatever possible to keep the Cubs in Arizona for the long-term.
Under the proposed MOU, the Cubs would acquire the land used to build the stadium and would maintain and operate the stadium, parking and public access roads surrounding the stadium. If construction costs exceeded the agreed upon $84 million, the Cubs would cover that excess cost. The city would also be obligated to secure the passage of state legislation that would help fund some of the facility construction. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything definitive, but it looks like the Cubs will be staying out west for Spring Training for the foreseeable future…
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…