SBD/August 15, 2014/Facilities

Tax Revenue Used To Build Cactus League Facilities Falling Short Of Projections

Goodyear made a $123M investment for its ballpark, home to the Reds and Indians
Glendale and Goodyear, Ariz., “may not receive” any of the $100M-plus “in repayments the cities were promised for Cactus League baseball complexes, because tax revenue used to pay them continues to fall below original projections,” according to Peter Corbett of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Under the best scenario, the “financially squeezed” Arizona Sports & Tourism Authority will repay the two cities sometime between ‘21 and ‘31, “well beyond the original schedule.” Glendale is owed $60M of the $152.6M “the city spent building Camelback Ranch stadium to host” the White Sox and Dodgers. Goodyear is “waiting for” $57.5M from the ASTA for its $123M investment in Goodyear Ballpark, the Spring Training home of the Reds and Indians. The potential Cactus League shortfall “could worsen Glendale's efforts to dig out of a financial hole” linked to its $180M investment in Gila River Arena and “other major costs” to keep the Coyotes in Glendale. The ASTA’s revenue from a 1% hotel-tax and 3.25% rental-car surcharge to pay for Cactus League facilities “has fallen far short of initial projections, and the Great Recession compounded the problem.” Add to that “an arms race of costly, state-of-the-art ballparks, clubhouses and training facilities for Arizona's 15 Cactus League teams” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 8/15).
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