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Cubs to Naples: We prefer to stay in Arizona, thank you

Chicago Cubs logoThe quest to bring the Chicago Cubs to a new spring-training site in Naples is all but over, as Crane Kenney politely declines the offer for now — which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone following the situation.

What was surprising: how dogged the two outfits seeking the Cubs were pursuing the team, even though Tom Ricketts and crew had basically told the world they were pursuing a deal with Mesa and didn’t wish to entertain alternative offers. Indeed, while yesterday was potentially a milestone if the Cubs did want to leave — an exclusive negotiating agreement expired without the two sides reaching a formal agreement — the Cubs and Mesa both treated it just like any other day, saying that progress was being made on the deal. For the two Florida groups to demand an answer from the Cubs on their status was pretty much silly and a little arrogant.

For the record, here’s the press statement issued by Cubs President Crane Kinney:

“The Cubs are appreciative of the efforts from the Naples team to provide the club with a first-rate spring training facility. Naples is a world-class city and could undoubtedly provide our organization and fans an exceptional facility and experience. Despite the opportunity that exists in Naples, for the time being we will continue our work in Mesa to build a new spring training facility there.”

RELATED STORIES: Florida group to Cubs: Tell us if we’re really in the running to land spring training; Naples: We think we still have shot at landing Cubs spring training; Cubs, Mesa working on new spring-ballpark agreement; Mesa: We’ll finance Cubs ballpark on our own; State funding for Cubs spring facility “dead”; Florida explores new money for luring Cactus League teams; Selig pushes Cubs aside, will directly negotiate funding of new spring venue; Legislators: Yup, we want Cactus League ticket tax; Cubs: We’re not wedded to idea of Cactus League ticket tax; Cactus League teams, Selig oppose Cubs spring-training funding; Mesa to ask for state aid to keep Cubs; Cubs seriously looking at Naples spring-training bid; Naples: We’re serious about landing the Cubs; Ricketts to visit Mesa next week to tour potential spring-training sites; Lawmaker: Florida should up spending to lure spring camps for Cubs, Brewers; Cubs’ spring-training future doesn’t lie in HoHoKam Park; Mesa delegation to pitch Cubs on spring-training facilities

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