Mesa officials say planning for two new spring-training facilities is beyond the city’s resources, so they’ll focus on keeping the Cubs and pass on a potential Rockies/Diamondbacks complex.Mesa officials say planning for basically two new spring-training facilities is beyond the city’s resources, so they’ll focus on keeping the Cubs and pass on a potential Rockies/Diamondbacks complex.
Though they won’t admit it, you can tell Mesa officials were thrown for a loop when Cubs chairman Crane Kenney announced the team was in the hunt for a new spring-training complex and announcing HoHoKam Park wouldn’t be enough to fill the team’s needs. True, HoHoKam is a pretty basic facility; it does have 13,000+ seats, which is the minimum needed by the Cubs each spring. The earliest contenders to land the Cubs, we were told, are the Gila River Indian Reservation, another Mesa site close to a proposed Gaylord Entertainment hotel/convention center complex, and Sarasota, Florida.
The Gaylord site, by the way, was envisioned by some in the city as the site of a new Diamondbacks/Rockies complex.
Given the potential loss of the Cubs, Mesa officials say they’ll drop plans to bid on a Diamondbacks/Rockies complex and instead work with the Cubs on a new ballpark and training complex. Whether the combo of HoHoKam and Fitch Park would work remains to be seen: HoHoKam would need to be renovated to bring in more higher-revenue seats, and a new training building would need to be built at Fitch. But it’s clear the Cubs are looking at alternatives, and Mesa officials have decided to put their resources into keeping the Cubs.
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