Thursday, January 21, 2010
Source: Cubs' choice is Arizona
By Bruce Levine
The Chicago Cubs' first choice for a new spring training home is Mesa, Ariz., a league source confirmed.
It most likely will be seven to eight miles east of the present site at Ho Ho Kam Park. The Cubs can get out of their present lease after the 2011 season.
The Mesa City Council will vote on Jan. 25 whether to accept a proposal to develop and fund the site. The council's approval is only the first step in what could be a four- to six-month process to get the money and approval from the Arizona Legislature.
The cost of a new spring training home has been estimated at $80 million, while the Cubs bring an estimated $52 million every spring to Arizona.
If Arizona is not able to secure the money, the Cubs are likely to go back to developers in Naples, Fla., to revisit talks about a facility there.
The new state-of-the-art facility would feature a ballpark with a capacity of 15,000 to 18,000, which would make it the largest spring training park. The facility also would feature a Wrigleyville atmosphere, which would include hotels, restaurants and bars within walking distance of the new park.
The Chicago Tribune first reported this story.
Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com.