SBD/November 29, 2011/Facilities

A's Begin Exclusive Negotiations To Move Spring Training To Mesa In '15

A's said that the negotiating period began Monday and lasts through May 15
The A's have begun "exclusive negotiations" with Mesa for use of Hohokam Stadium for the team's spring training "as early as 2015," according to Gary Nelson of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The A's have trained at the "half-century-old Phoenix Municipal Stadium" since '82. Phoenix Deputy Parks Dir Rob Harman said that it was "way too early to speculate on what the city might do with an empty stadium." The A's said that the "negotiating period began Monday and lasts through May 15." A's Dir of Minor League Operations Ted Polakowski said that the team will "closely observe how Hohokam and Fitch [Park] function during the coming spring-training season to assess the feasibility of moving, as well as the need for facility upgrades." The Cubs are scheduled to "use Hohokam through 2013 and move to Mesa's Riverview area in 2014." Polakowski said that the A's are "committed to staying in Phoenix through 2014." Harman and Polakowski said that the A's and Phoenix have "had an outstanding relationship." But Phoenix Municipal has "fallen behind newer Cactus League venues." The stadium is "in line for $3.7million for renovations from the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority." An additional $8M is "on tap for Hohokam, possibly cushioning the cost to Mesa of absorbing another Cactus League team" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 11/29). A's co-Owner Lew Wolff "talked last spring of the need for renovations at" Phoenix Municipal. The A's said that they "would have no further comment until an agreement is reached with Mesa or talks break off" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/29).
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