SBD/Issue 38/Facilities & Venues

Mesa Voters Approve Proposed Cubs Spring Training Complex

Spring Training Complex Would Keep
Cubs In Mesa For At Least 30 Years

About 63% of voters yesterday approved Mesa's plan for an $84M Cubs Spring Training complex that is scheduled to open in '13 and will "keep the team in Mesa for at least 30 years," according to Garin Groff of the EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE. Supporters said that they "expected a victory but not by such a comfortable margin." Cubs Chair Tom Ricketts: "The Cubs have been in Mesa for close to 50 years. We'd like to stay in Mesa for another 50 years and we look forward to taking what is a truly great spring training experience and turning [it] into the most remarkable spring training experience ever." Groff notes the vote "ends more than a year of uncertainty, as the Cubs had entertained a bid for a new complex in Naples, Fla." Mesa's "effort for statewide funding fell apart at the Legislature this spring, and the plan often changed as the city struggled to find funding." Opponents had "argued the complex could end up costing more than promised, saying there's no legal limit to what the city can spend." The Cubs also "haven't finalized a deal" for the land, which is "tied up until July 2011 for the proposed Waveyard water park." Waveyard officials have "tentatively agreed to scale back their project to make room for the Cubs." Mesa, the Cubs and Waveyard are "working to accommodate each other, with many details left until after the election" (EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE, 11/3).

FAN FEEDBACK: In Chicago, Paul Sullivan reported the Cubs in a "quality assessment survey" on their website are asking fans if they would approve of a video-replay board at Wrigley Field. The Cubs "aren't planning on a video board for 2011, but say they are gauging fan interest on a number of topics," including whether fans "would like a video replay board that doesn't 'obscure' the current center-field scoreboard, which is protected by landmark provisions." Cubs VP/Business Development Alex Sugarman said that the team "has been doing the survey most of the year, and this is simply an 'extension' of that." The survey "will be available for another month" on the website, and Sugarman said that the results "will be kept internal" (CHICAGOBREAKINGSPORTS.com, 11/2). Also in Chicago, Ed Sherman noted the survey "reveals some of the ideas the Cubs are considering in the renovation of Wrigley Field," including "a video board; applications to see replays on your mobile phone; new premium seating areas and clubs; and the Triangle Building." A disclaimer says the survey "does not imply all or any of these capital projects will take place at Wrigley Field," and adds the concepts are "hypothetical." But Sherman wrote, "Clearly, these concepts are beyond 'hypothetical.' They are on the table" (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 11/2).

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