A's Nearing 20-Year Deal Moving Spring Training To Mesa
The A's move to Hohokam Stadium in Mesa for Spring Training is "all but a done deal, thanks to action Thursday by the Mesa City Council," according to Gary Nelson of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The council approved a memorandum of understanding "sketching the broad outlines of an agreement that will bring the A’s to Mesa for at least 20 years, with options for two five-year extensions." The A's have trained at Phoenix Municipal Stadium since '84, but their lease expires at the end of '14. That is the same year the Phoenix ballpark turns 50, and the A's "couldn’t reach an agreement with Phoenix about upgrading" the facility. Phoenix Municipal is now seen as the "most likely future home for the Arizona State University baseball team, which would be displaced if ASU moves ahead with plans to redevelop the site of Packard Stadium." The Cubs currently play at Hohokam, but will leave "about a year from now." That will give Mesa a year to "retrofit Hohokam and improve training facilities for the A’s at nearby Fitch Park." Mesa City Manager Chris Brady said that the work at "Fitch and Hohokam is expected to cost about $20 million." Mesa will pay the first $15M of that, and the "city and the A’s will split the next $5 million, if that much is needed." The A’s will "cover all costs above $20 million" (AZCENTRAL.com, 12/20).
LOOKING FOR A NEW DOMAIN: In N.Y., Ken Belson reports the Mets are "looking for a new sponsor" for their Spring Training ballpark in Port St. Lucie, Fla., after previous rightsholder Digital Domain filed for bankruptcy three months ago. Workers Friday are "expected to remove all signs" related to the animation company. Digital Domain, which had bought the rights to the St. Lucie County-owned facility from '10-18, owed the county $100,000 this year and "owed the Mets a similar amount." But the county "received only two of four required payments," and it was "not immediately clear how much the Mets received" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/21).