It’s official: the city of Mesa and the Chicago Cubs are signing a 30-year lease for the team to train at a new complex slated to open in 2014, but there’s still plenty of design work to be done.
The Mesa City Council is expected to sign off on the lease during Monday’s meeting. It calls for the city to pay a maximum of $84 million for the training facility and $15 for infrastructure improvements, with the Cubs and Arizona State paying anything above that, assuming the two baseball entities come to a final agreement on a lease. (Arizona regents have already signed off on the Sun Devils shifting baseball operations to the new Mesa complex; the Cubs and the school must now sign their own agreement.) It should be ready for Spring Training 2014 after work begins next June.
The lease is pretty simple as far as spring-complex leases go: the team is committed to the facility for 30 years, with options for another 20, and a hard penalty of $1 million per year of the unused lease should the team leave. The Cubs will have the right to ask for capital improvements every 10 years, provided the improvements have already been implemented at five other Cactus League complexes. The Cubs will also retain develop rights to six acres in the complex for a so-called Wrigleyville West entertainment district. You can view the lease agreements here.
The city and the Cubs are also working on a plan to develop 25 more acres adjacent to the baseball facility. Under the plan, an operator and developer would come in and pay for a new resort.
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