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Glendale still needs to finalize funding for spring-training facility

Despite the new spring home of the Dodgers and White Sox opening this season, the city of Glendale still hasn't nailed down financing deals with the city of Phoenix or the state sports and tourism authority.

The Phoenix suburb of Glendale is struggling with huge investments in sports facilities these days: while the new Arizona Cardinals stadium has worked out, the arena built for the Phoenix Coyotes could end up costing the city millions if the NHL franchise departs.

The third big sports-facility investment in Glendale could go either way, as city officials still need to finalize agreements with the city of Phoenix and the state Sports and Tourism Authority to provide some sorely needed revenue for Camelback Ranch Stadium, the spring home of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox. That the agreements aren't completed is a little surprising, because without them the city will need to use property-tax revenue to pay for the new facility at a time when the city is laying off employees.

The two agreements are relatively straightforward. The deal with Phoenix calls for a revenue-share of sales taxes generated by the new ballpark because the complex is actually located on Phoenix-owned land; Phoenix officials say they're set to go, but a draft proposal has not been approved by Glendale.

The bigger agreement is with the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority is a little more complex and much more important in terms of the $200 million borrowed by the city to build the facility. The authority approved $60 million toward the complex — money the city needs to repay that debt. While the authority approved the funding two years ago, the city still has not approved any agreement. Now, there's no big hurry is approving the authority deal, as bonds on the complex do not require payments until 2012. Still, for a city facing such big financial issues, you'd think they'd want to nail down every funding source as soon as possible.

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