The Chandler (Az.) City Council last night approved a zoning change allowing housing development on a 65-acre site that include Compadre Stadium, former spring-training home of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Compadre Stadium opened in 1986 as spring home of the Brewers, replacing the team’s home in Sun City. It was only home to the Brewers until 1998, when the Brewers shifted spring operations to Maryvale Baseball Park. (Yes, the team fulfilled the terms of the original 10-year lease; the Brewers moved after Chandler officials passed on making requested upgrades to the ballpark and to the spring-training complex. The ballpark and the complex cost only $1.6 million.) Since then the ballpark itself has remained intact but unused; the team’s practice fields were converted to city parkland.
Compadre Stadium has always presented an interesting issue for Chandler officials. Despite the boom in spring-training facilities in the greater Phoenix area, Chandler officials never really pushed Compadre Stadium as a site for a relocating team or sought state money for renovations. (Indeed, as we saw a great expansion of Cactus League facilities and multiple teams moving from Florida to Arizona, Chandler officials never threw their hats in the ring to bring back spring training, potentially at state expense.) So basically it’s sat empty for more than a decade, with goats occasionally prowling the playing field to keep down the weeks. But the grandstand remains, and it was occasionally used for meetings over the years.
But not any more, as the City Council voted to move forward with a zoning change allowing up to 300 homes and townhomes on 65 acres near Alma School and Ocotillo roads. That means goodbye to the ballpark.
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