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Scottsdale to woo D-Backs for spring home

Scottsdale officials say they’ll woo the front office of the Arizona Diamondbacks regarding a move of the team’s spring-training facility.Scottsdale officials say they’ll contact the front office of the Arizona Diamondbacks regarding a move of the team’s spring-training facilities. But whether the city has anything to offer remains to be seen.

Scottsdale is already home to the San Francisco Giants for spring training; the team maintains a complex on Indian School Road and plays its games at Scottsdale Stadium.

Now, exactly what the city has to offer the team remains to be seen. The state and county funds used to build recent spring-training facilities in Goodyear and Glendale are tapped out; Goodyear officials were forced to dip into city funds to pay for a new training complex for the Cincinnati Reds. The city could offer the use of Scottsdale Stadium and find a way to pay for a new complex somewhere in the city, but we don’t think there’s much chance of Scottsdale finding $80 million for a brand-new training complex/ballpark.

And it’s not as though the Diamondbacks don’t have plenty of suitors. Though the team’s spring lease at Tucson Electric Park runs through 2012, the Diamondbacks are free to leave as soon as 2010 because of the defection of the Chicago White Sox; the D-Backs’ lease allows the team to leave if only two teams remain in Tucson. The team admitted it was in talks with four groups seeking to bring them to a new complex. One suitor, the Gila River Indian Reservation, has quietly developed the framework for a two-team complex.

But there will be a little competition. The Colorado Rockies are similarly on the prowl for a new Phoenix home; the team’s lease for Hi Corbett Field has similarly been invalidated by the defection of the White Sox, and the same groups talking with the Diamondbacks are also talking with the Rockies. A wild card in all of this are the Milwaukee Brewers, whose lease at Maryvale Baseball Park expires in 2012 as well — and we’ve heard some team officials are very intent on finding a spring-training home in a better area.

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