SBD/March 15, 2013/Facilities

Parts Of Wrigleyville West In Arizona Could Open In Time For Next Spring Training

Some elements of the Wrigleyville West commercial district next to the Cubs’ new Spring Training facility in Mesa “could be open by the time the first fans arrive next spring,” according to Gary Nelson of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. City and Cubs officials this week said that businesses “have expressed interest in opportunities near" the $84M complex. Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said, “We are well down the line with some developers to do some things as part of the Wrigleyville West. It’s looking pretty good right now.” Officials on Wednesday gave a site tour for media “to check out the complex, and it provided dramatic evidence of the transition from golf course to state-of-the-art baseball mecca.” Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney said, “This great stadium, 15,000 seats, will house an incredible experience for our fans.” Most of the seating “will be shaded and below ground level, looking toward the northeast.” Kenney said that while fan attention “will focus on the stadium,” the 70,000-square-foot clubhouse west of the ballpark “will be the heart and soul of team operations.” Kenney: “It’s got the largest conditioning space in either the Cactus or the Grapefruit League -- almost 9,000 square feet. It is a world-class place for our players to train.” Part of the clubhouse roof “remains to be installed because large hydrotherapy pools will have to be lowered in by crane.” The clubhouse “will be finished by mid-September.” It also will “house the Cubs’ West Coast business offices” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/15).

DEAR SIR: In Chicago, Dardick & Byrne note the Lake View Citizens’ Council in a letter sent Wednesday to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel “raised a host of red flags to parts of the rehab plan” to Wrigley Field proposed by Cubs Chair Tom Ricketts. Ricketts has said that he “would like to get the deal done by opening day April 1.” Council President William DeMille on Thursday said that he “was pleased a deal was not struck by early February, as city officials had hoped.” But he added that he “remains worried that neighbors won’t have their concerns about parking, traffic and public safety addressed if an agreement is reached soon.” DeMille in the letter “called for a limit of 33 night games, compared to 30 this season; and four concerts, compared to two now; contends more late Friday afternoon game starts would snarl rush-hour traffic and hurt businesses that don’t cater to game-goers; requests more detailed Cubs plans, including how parking would be provided for a proposed hotel; and calls for a greater police and security presence.” Cubs officials on Thursday said that they “were ‘encouraged’ that the neighbors were receptive to more games and concerts” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/15).
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