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Giants Finalize Spring Training Camp Shift to Papago Park

San Francisco GiantsThe San Francisco Giants will be shifting many MiLB spring-training and player-development operations to Phoenix’s Papago Park after coming to an agreement on a $35-million renovation plan with Phoenix and Scottsdale.

The plan to renovate the Papago Park complex, formerly hosting Oakland Athletics spring training, is not directly related to the proposed overhaul of Scottsdale Stadium, but it stems from the same desire to keep the Giants training in Scottsdale. The Giants say they’ve outgrown the Indian School Minor League Complex and look to centralize spring training and rehab at the Papago Park complex. Now, Papago Park was in pretty rough shape during the last days of the A’s training there before the A’s shifted spring operations and player development to the Lew Wolff complex in Mesa. But the renovation plan should address these deficiencies.

Under the deal, the Giants and Scottsdale spend $35 million to upgrade the playing fields, install new netting and lighting, and expand the old clubhouse. In addition, the Giants and Scottsdale will assume all maintenance and operational costs of the complex. Major league spring training games would remain at Scottsdale Stadium-the club has been discussing future renovations to that ballpark as part of a separate process–but an upgraded Papago Park would be used by the Giants for minor league spring training games, year-round training, and other purposes. Papago Park is located on the edge  of Phoenix, about five miles from Scottsdale Stadium.

It’s a win for Phoenix, as the deal will take the complex off the city ledgers. It had been running at a deficit, generating $250,000 or so annually in rental fees while costing the city $1.1 million annually in operational costs. For Phoenix and Scottsdale, it’s a way to keep the Giants training in Scottsdale and upgrade their player-development facilities. From the Arizona Republic:

Scottsdale Community Services Director Bill Murphy said the Giants have outgrown Indian School Minor League Complex, where they currently house year-round development of minor league players.

“It gives the Giants actually more ability to grow their program. They were a little constrained at Indian School,” Murphy said.

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