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View Full Version : John Allen: "we are going to Goodyear if the funding is there"



savafan
03-07-2008, 05:31 PM
http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20080307/NEWS/803070382/1006/sports

By Roger Drouin
SARASOTA -- A week before a major deadline in negotiations between the Cincinnati Reds and the city of Goodyear, Ariz., both sides signaled their eagerness to cement the deal.

Goodyear has until next Thursday to secure the funds needed to build the spring training facility it has promised the Reds. If the city does not have the money by then, the Reds are no longer bound by an exclusive agreement with Goodyear and can negotiate with other cities -- including Sarasota.

On Thursday, the Goodyear city council met behind closed doors before announcing their intention to come up with the necessary money to bring the Reds to town.

The Reds, in turn, said once that funding is secured they are ready to make the move to Goodyear.

"If they come up with the funding, wherever they get it from, we are going to Goodyear," said Reds executive John Allen.

The news that the Reds' 12th season next year is more and more likely to be the team's last in Sarasota struck a chord among backers who fought to keep the Reds here.

"I think their fans have no interest in going to, as they call it, 'Where Is It? Arizona,'" said Virginia Haley, director of the Sarasota County Convention and Visitors Bureau. "And we clearly want this team here."

"Yes we came to the plate late, but there was total, solid support from people who live and work here, the fans and the players."

Her comments came just hours after the Reds defeated the New York Yankees 12-8 at Ed Smith Stadium before an overflow crowd of 6,980.

"It's a shame," said Steve Queior, president of the greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, of the possibility of the Reds leaving. "It's definitely bad news for the economy."

At least one Sarasota official said he is not ready to give up the fight yet.

Sarasota Vice Mayor Kelly Kirschner said he would try to set up a meeting with Reds' owner Bob Castellini early next week.

"Now the Reds have two solid offers," Kirschner said.

Pat Calhoon, Sarasota's sports facilities manager, said he would try to keep baseball in town if the Reds leave.

Calhoon called the Baltimore Orioles three weeks ago to let the team know Sarasota can get a stadium deal done. Baltimore trains in Fort Lauderdale, but the team is reportedly looking to move if a stadium deal does not come through.

The team already has a presence in Sarasota with its minor league spring training games at Twin Lakes Park on Clark Road.

On Feb. 12, the County Commission approved $17.6 million in bed tax money to fund the renovation of Ed Smith stadium.

But that decision came nearly two weeks after the Reds entered into an exclusive agreement with Goodyear, meaning the team had to break off talks with Sarasota. Since that time, Allen has visited Goodyear at least two times to talk to city officials and tour the spring training site.

The city needs to come up with $32 million to buy the land and build the clubhouse, practice fields, bullpens and offices for the Reds.

Right now Goodyear's stadium is only set up for one baseball team, the Cleveland Indians, when it opens for spring training play in 2009.

Goodyear has already issued $75 million in bonds for the stadium, and city officials said securing a second bond should not be a problem.

Kirschner said he understands why Goodyear is pursuing the Reds.

"They see this as economic development tool," he said. "And it is pretty smart. They have both teams from Ohio. I am assuming they are banking on getting all of Ohio's baby boomers to move there."

Sarasota's effort to keep the Reds hit several snags over the past year.

After city voters narrowly rejected a $16 million property tax increase in November, county commissioners thought that killed the stadium project and started talking about using bed tax dollars to pay for other projects.

The stadium rebuild was revived by city leaders, and the County Commission ultimately voted 4-1 to allocate the $17.6 million in bed tax dollars.

"We belatedly got our act together," said Haley, with the Convention and Visitors Bureau. "But we have a history. Look at how long it took us to get the library."

Calhoon, Sarasota's sports facilities manager, said he is still hopeful the Reds will stay here.

"But I'm also a realist," he said.

JaxRed
03-07-2008, 05:35 PM
NM

pedro
03-07-2008, 05:37 PM
The thread should be renamed.... "if they come up with funding, we are going to Goodyear."

how about "if they build it, we will come.....to Goodyear"

savafan
03-07-2008, 05:37 PM
Oh, they'll get the funding. Do you have any doubt? Reds spring training in Florida is history.

JaxRed
03-07-2008, 05:39 PM
Yes, I assume there is some doubt on the funding. After all, they have had 30 days or so to do it, and haven't identified any source yet.

M2
03-07-2008, 05:48 PM
Oh, they'll get the funding. Do you have any doubt? Reds spring training in Florida is history.

This kind of reminds me of when the New England Patriots were going to move to Hartford. My take is if Sarasota puts an attractive offer on the table, the Reds will find a way to take it no matter what Goodyear does.

On a separate note, wasn't John Allen canned?

Johnny Footstool
03-07-2008, 05:50 PM
This is huge news for my son and me. My in-laws live in Goodyear.

WMR
03-07-2008, 05:56 PM
Allen agreed to stay on through this Spring Training facility process. After that, hopefully, we'll never hear or read his name in association with the Reds ever again.

Unassisted
03-07-2008, 06:11 PM
"They see this as economic development tool," he said. "And it is pretty smart. They have both teams from Ohio. I am assuming they are banking on getting all of Ohio's baby boomers to move there."I thought this was a fascinating revelation of an economic justification for the move west that none of us had come up with. The Arizona people are looking at this as a way to get Ohioans to retire to Arizona instead of Florida. This isn't just about luring tourists, it's about luring retirees.

jojo
03-07-2008, 06:17 PM
I thought this was a fascinating revelation of an economic justification for the move west that none of us had come up with. The Arizona people are looking at this as a way to get Ohioans to retire to Arizona instead of Florida. This isn't about luring tourists, it's about luring retirees.

Yes, because Arizona is suffering from a shortage of those..... :D

Johnny Footstool
03-07-2008, 06:22 PM
Yes, because Arizona is suffering from a shortage of those..... :D

:lol:

But honestly, you can never have too many retiring boomers throwing their 401K cash into your state's economy.

fearofpopvol1
03-07-2008, 06:28 PM
I'd like to see the Reds figure out a way to stay in Sarasota if possible, but it looks like that may not be a reality.

gm
03-07-2008, 06:29 PM
Allen agreed to stay on through this Spring Training facility process. After that, hopefully, we'll never hear or read his name in association with the Reds ever again.

Except for in REDREAD's sig line

Chip R
03-07-2008, 06:38 PM
Except for in REDREAD's sig line


You can't stop true love. :p:

RANDY IN INDY
03-07-2008, 07:15 PM
If they move to Arizona, maybe it will mean more Spring Training games on TV.

cincyinco
03-07-2008, 07:21 PM
Can't say I'm not in the camp that is firmly behind the move. Much closer to me, making spring training trips much more a reality. :)

TeamBoone
03-07-2008, 07:46 PM
I know I'm being selfish, but I hope this deal doesn't go down. I'll never be able to go to AZ for spring training. Plus, I like the beach and Sarasota is the perfect opportunity to have both the Reds and the beach.

In addition, what is the deal with a shared stadium? How will that work?

SirFelixCat
03-07-2008, 08:48 PM
Can't say I'm not in the camp that is firmly behind the move. Much closer to me, making spring training trips much more a reality. :)

Exactly. Last I checked, Phoenix is a LOT closer to Vegas than Fla is ;):beerme:

savafan
03-07-2008, 09:06 PM
I wonder if this would mean that both the Reds and Indians would also be moving their high A teams to Goodyear as well.

jmcclain19
03-08-2008, 04:28 AM
Sweet. This is getting closer by the day - I just don't see Goodyear going this far down the path if they didn't already have the funding in their pocket.

For anyone interested - here are some shots of the new Goodyear stadium at the ground breaking a few months ago

http://www.goodyearaz.gov/PhotoGallery.asp?FID=5

And some more artist renders of the what the planned development & stadium will look like

http://www.goodyearaz.gov/index.asp?NID=1800

jmcclain19
03-08-2008, 04:40 AM
Also - if anyone likes to play with Google Maps - the Stadium will be located at Yuma & Estrella Parkway in Goodyear - what now shows up as Farm fields off the Southeast corner of the intersection.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Goodyear,+AZ&ie=UTF8&ll=33.432301,-112.380266&spn=0.041903,0.09407&t=h&z=14

For giggles - it's 1,867 miles between GABP & the Spring Training Site.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&geocode=1014391875453905339,33.435580,-112.392500,14443670709463940588,39.098032,-84.508242&saddr=100+Main+St,+Cincinnati,+OH+45202+(Great+Ame rican+Ball+Park)&daddr=S+Estrella+Pkwy+%4033.435580,+-112.392500&mra=pe&mrcr=0&sll=36.395057,-98.261386&sspn=20.639151,48.164062&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=5

For any racing fans - Phoenix International Raceway is about 8 miles to the southeast of the stadium site.

membengal
03-08-2008, 07:30 AM
John Allen is my nemesis.

This is like the end of the book version of the Rings trilogy, where the Saruman-without-his-powers still manages to attempt to lay waste to the Shire.

Although I can see how you who live out west view this very differently.

KronoRed
03-08-2008, 03:30 PM
Teams from the east having ST in Arizona is just wrong, like the DH.

cincyinco
03-08-2008, 03:33 PM
Exactly. Last I checked, Phoenix is a LOT closer to Vegas than Fla is ;):beerme:

Denver, Vegas.. Its all good. Family both places. :) And both lots closer than Florida. Count me in as being stoked if it happens, as spring training was otherwise just a shell of a dream.

Chip R
03-08-2008, 03:49 PM
Plumbing went out at Ed Smith Stadium today. Just sayin'.

WMR
03-08-2008, 03:56 PM
Plumbing went out at Ed Smith Stadium today. Just sayin'.

Make the rookies shuttle water in and out.

TeamBoone
03-08-2008, 04:31 PM
... as spring training was otherwise just a shell of a dream.


As it now is for me, and the majority of Reds fan who live in the east.

Besides, AZ doesn't have a beach.

I'll now have to spend my vacation dollars elsewhere, and it won't be AZ.

M2
03-08-2008, 04:46 PM
As it now is for me, and the majority of Reds fan who live in the east.

Besides, AZ doesn't have a beach.

I'll now have to spend my vacation dollars elsewhere, and it won't be AZ.

I think that sums it up nicely and I would think you speak for a majority of fans in that respect.

jmcclain19
03-08-2008, 05:26 PM
Chicago to Phx - 1800 miles

Cleveland to Phx - 2050 miles

Milwaukee to Phx - 1880 miles

Cincy to Phx - 1850 miles

Yet Cincy fans are the only ones I hear moaning and groaning about the distance. I'm sorry but I just don't buy that it will affect fans coming out - the Brewers, Cubs and Sox all do quite well in getting the out of town fans to come. Will it take some adjusting - sure, but for the Reds this is by far the better decision.

SandyD
03-08-2008, 05:35 PM
Maybe because Cincy is closer to Fla than those other cities. Fans from Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, etc would choose to fly to either AZ or FL. Reds fans are close enough to have an option.

For fans in the Reds hometown region who travel to ST, this stinks. I'm not sure why you say this is "by far" the better decision for the Reds. It could be, or could not be. But from a fan's perspective, it's not a "good" thing.

And I absolutely LOVE Arizona in March, personally.

jojo
03-08-2008, 05:48 PM
Chicago to Phx - 1800 miles

Cleveland to Phx - 2050 miles

Milwaukee to Phx - 1880 miles

Cincy to Phx - 1850 miles

Yet Cincy fans are the only ones I hear moaning and groaning about the distance. I'm sorry but I just don't buy that it will affect fans coming out - the Brewers, Cubs and Sox all do quite well in getting the out of town fans to come. Will it take some adjusting - sure, but for the Reds this is by far the better decision.

To be fair, roughly 2/3 of the Cubs fan base already lives in Arizona, Cleveland residents are just glad to get out of Cleveland so truth be told, anywhere looks good to them and Milwaukee really doesn't have any fans to begin with.... :D

BoydsOfSummer
03-08-2008, 05:55 PM
I've never been to spring training but it's always something I've wanted to experience. If I ever make the decision to actually go,it won't really matter where they are I suppose. I guess if you make it a regular trip it could be a deterrent though.

SandyD
03-08-2008, 06:15 PM
I'm still not crazy about the "shared facilities" and all.

For me personally, it doesn't matter much. So, if it's truly good for the Reds, I'm all for it.
Just not sure why Goodyear as opposed to another site in FL, if things can't be worked out in Sarasota.

westofyou
03-08-2008, 06:19 PM
Chicago to Phx - 1800 miles

Cleveland to Phx - 2050 miles

Milwaukee to Phx - 1880 miles

Cincy to Phx - 1850 miles

Yet Cincy fans are the only ones I hear moaning and groaning about the distance. I'm sorry but I just don't buy that it will affect fans coming out - the Brewers, Cubs and Sox all do quite well in getting the out of town fans to come. Will it take some adjusting - sure, but for the Reds this is by far the better decision.

I hear ya... fact.. Cleveland went west to avoid Jim Crow, then went back, then went west, then went back... they are a mess. And the Cubs used to go to Catalina for years before they were convinced to stay west to fill out a playing schediule.

The Reds used to have a Florida culture... but it was in Tampa and Marge screwed the pooch there, making them carpetbaggers.

Chip R
03-08-2008, 06:44 PM
Just not sure why Goodyear as opposed to another site in FL, if things can't be worked out in Sarasota.


It's not exactly like there are cities jumping all over each other to offer what Goodyear is offering the Reds in Florida. All Sarasota had to do was spend some money to fix up the stadium and the Reds would have been happy as clams. But Sarasota didn't step up to the plate until the Reds showed that they were serious about moving to Goodyear.

SandyD
03-08-2008, 06:58 PM
I guess I don't really know what Goodyear is offering, except a shared facility that was built for another club. Sure, they'll have to build a new clubhouse for the Reds, and maybe some more practice fields.

Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems like the Reds will always be "second team" in Goodyear.

KronoRed
03-08-2008, 07:00 PM
Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems like the Reds will always be "second team" in Goodyear.

Second team in Ohio Second team at ST ;)

IslandRed
03-08-2008, 07:11 PM
I guess I don't really know what Goodyear is offering, except a shared facility that was built for another club. Sure, they'll have to build a new clubhouse for the Reds, and maybe some more practice fields.

Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems like the Reds will always be "second team" in Goodyear.

If it's just like the rest of the sharing arrangements in Arizona, the Reds will only be sharing the main stadium with the Indians and the rest of the Reds' facilities will be very nice. Don't really see where they'd be shortchanged.

Sad to say I may never make it to a game in Sarasota. Most years we make it to Florida in March for the kids' spring break, but it's on the east coast, and with the kids to deal with and family to visit, "drive across the state for a ballgame" never seemed to work out. That's why I wanted them to land in Vero so badly. But it was comforting to know that I could.

jmcclain19
03-08-2008, 07:26 PM
The Royals/Rangers facility in Surprise is just amazing - and that's the facility they are talking about patterning Goodyear after.

Down the 3rd baseline, about 150 feet behind the leftfield bleachers, the Royals massive office complex, and it's exact twin is on the 1st baseline

http://z.about.com/d/phoenix/1/0/r/e/1/surprisestadium01.jpg
http://z.about.com/d/phoenix/1/0/s/e/1/surprisestadium02.jpg

When I was in Surprise on Monday I could see about half a dozen Royals front office staff sitting off their office balcony watching the game. Right next to the office complex is a huge batting cage area, open where fans can walk right up during the game and watch players hit.

Peoria with the Ms & Padres have a similiar setup - both have massive clubhouse & office buildings on opposite sides of the site. The only real sharing involved is that the land is right next to each other that each team will use for practice fields and that both play in the same stadium on game days.

http://z.about.com/d/phoenix/1/0/I/C/2/peoriastadium2008_18.jpg

Both Surprise & Peoria have seperate Team shops for both clubs, and the best part is they are playing B games on the practice fields between the two clubs all the time - all they have to do is take a short walk to the other practice field.

jojo
03-08-2008, 07:28 PM
The Royals/Rangers facility in Surprise is just amazing - and that's the facility they are talking about patterning Goodyear after.

Down the 3rd baseline, about 150 feet behind the leftfield bleachers, the Royals massive office complex, and it's exact twin is on the 1st baseline

http://z.about.com/d/phoenix/1/0/r/e/1/surprisestadium01.jpg
http://z.about.com/d/phoenix/1/0/s/e/1/surprisestadium02.jpg

When I was in Surprise on Monday I could see about half a dozen Royals front office staff sitting off their office balcony watching the game. Right next to the office complex is a huge batting cage area, open where fans can walk right up during the game and watch players hit.

Peoria with the Ms & Padres have a similiar setup - both have massive clubhouse & office buildings on opposite sides of the site. The only real sharing involved is that the land is right next to each other that each team will use for practice fields and that both play in the same stadium on game days.

http://z.about.com/d/phoenix/1/0/I/C/2/peoriastadium2008_18.jpg

Both Surprise & Peoria have seperate Team shops for both clubs, and the best part is they are playing B games on the practice fields between the two clubs all the time - all they have to do is take a short walk to the other practice field.

Yes, it's pretty sweet.

SandyD
03-08-2008, 08:13 PM
The pictures look nice.

I know they'll build the Reds their own clubhouse and stuff. Will the Reds have their own practice fields? I'd feel better if they had at least 1.

My concern is if ever a conflict arose over the use/maintenance/alterations to the shared facility between the Reds and the Indians, the Reds would lose out.

M2
03-08-2008, 08:21 PM
Chicago to Phx - 1800 miles

Cleveland to Phx - 2050 miles

Milwaukee to Phx - 1880 miles

Cincy to Phx - 1850 miles

Yet Cincy fans are the only ones I hear moaning and groaning about the distance. I'm sorry but I just don't buy that it will affect fans coming out - the Brewers, Cubs and Sox all do quite well in getting the out of town fans to come. Will it take some adjusting - sure, but for the Reds this is by far the better decision.

People drive to Florida from where I live and I imagine a good number do from Cincinnati as well. Cheap airfare can change behavior a bit, but a lot of people visit friends and family on trips like that too. I can't speak for the Cincinnati area, but I know that in the northeast I hear a lot more about family and friends in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas than in the southwest. If Cincinnati's anything close to that, and I suspect it is, you're talking about people who've made ST part of a larger trip to see those people and no amount of cheap airfare is going to replace that.

It's also not going to replace water. People like to be on the water - swimming, fishing, boating. For a lot of people, the trip to Florida is more about that than catching ST games. They're taking a vacation and baseball is just part of it. Nothing against Arizona, but Florida gets roughly three times as many tourists for a reason. And don't take me as a fan of Florida, my parents have a second home down there (between Naples and Marco Island) and we never go. I'm just noting that Florida's a more popular destination. Given my druthers I'd have ST in the Caribbean.

I'm sure the Reds can do fine with an Arizona facility, but I've got to believe if you polled Reds fans and asked their preference they'd vote for Florida in overwhelming numbers.

red-in-la
03-08-2008, 08:27 PM
Do we have a little ST Facility envy going on here?

Chip R
03-08-2008, 08:37 PM
I'm sure the Reds can do fine with an Arizona facility, but I've got to believe if you polled Reds fans and asked their preference they'd vote for Florida in overwhelming numbers.


I'm sure they would. I know I would. But I don't think that Reds fans are going to stop going down to ST just because it's in AZ. They might even get more. As for having fun on and in the water, I'm sure AZ has several places where people can boat, fish or swim. I'm told they have wonderful golf courses down there too.

Blitz Dorsey
03-08-2008, 08:38 PM
I like the idea of the Reds having their own city for spring training (and not having to share one with the Indians). But other than that everything about Goodyear sounds good. The Phoenix area is a great place to visit, much-less congested than the Sarasota area (however no beach of course) and Goodyear is right next to the town of Buckeye, Az. You can't get any better than that.

I'll be OK with it either way. I would like the Reds to stay in Sarasota but if they move to Goodyear, so be it. That won't be bad at all. But I just don't like the idea of sharing the town/stadium with the Indians. I know the Reds would have their own practice fields, clubhouse and offices, but still. If you think you hate the Indians as a Reds fan, try living in Columbus. You would really hate the Indians. There are a lot of Reds fans and this used to be completely a Reds town. Can you tell I'm bothered by the fact that no Indians fans existed in Cbus before 1995?

pedro
03-08-2008, 08:46 PM
I'm sure the Reds can do fine with an Arizona facility, but I've got to believe if you polled Reds fans and asked their preference they'd vote for Florida in overwhelming numbers.

I'm sure you're right. However, pleasing the small proportion of your fan base who actually attend spring training is probably not the best business decision when the purpose of spring training isn't to marshal fan support or to generate revenue but to prepare your team for the upcoming season. All things being equal I'm sure the Reds management would prefer to stay in Florida. Regardless, being that things don't seem to be equal I'm glad they're making the decision based on the most important factors, which don't IMO include fan sentiment.

TeamBoone
03-09-2008, 03:31 AM
I'm sure you're right. However, pleasing the small proportion of your fan base who actually attend spring training is probably not the best business decision when the purpose of spring training isn't to marshal fan support or to generate revenue but to prepare your team for the upcoming season. All things being equal I'm sure the Reds management would prefer to stay in Florida. Regardless, being that things don't seem to be equal I'm glad they're making the decision based on the most important factors, which don't IMO include fan sentiment.

Ironically, Marty and Thom were talking about that during today's game (Saturday). They both seemed to think it was VERY important. It helps the clubs when the stands are full and bring mega revenue to the ST city (just as it does in the major leagues).

I believe the stadium in Goodyear is larger than the one in Sarasota, so they think that's a good thing... revenue wise.

So, if you think ST is all about baseball prep and the fans be damned... well, that's just not true. If it was, there would be no need for nice stadiums, especially for just a few weeks' time.

westofyou
03-09-2008, 11:43 AM
Ironically, Marty and Thom were talking about that during today's game (Saturday). They both seemed to think it was VERY important. It helps the clubs when the stands are full and bring mega revenue to the ST city (just as it does in the major leagues).

They think lots of stuff is important all the time and are consistently proven wrong... perchance this is one of them?

BTW I hope they come west... for selfish reasons.

Just like all you folks in Cincinnati... oh and if some of y'all have never been to Arizona you shouldn't stick your nose in the air about it until you've been there at least once correct?

membengal
03-09-2008, 11:46 AM
woy, you are missing the point. I've been to both Florida and Arizona. Both are pretty awesome, in their own ways.

But, for a bunch of fans in Cincy (and surrounding states), it is possible to get to Florida, driving, with the family for spring training. At least once in a decade or so. Which saves airfare, something that can be prohibitive for a lot of us with kids. And that IS a loss for fans. The Reds may be better off in Goodyear, but that won't stop a sizable number of fans from still being disappointed to have the possibilty of making a Reds spring training game go away. And, moving to Arizona does just that for many Reds fans.

westofyou
03-09-2008, 11:50 AM
woy, you are missing the point. I've been to both Florida and Arizona. Both are pretty awesome, in their own ways.

But, for a bunch of fans in Cincy (and surrounding states), it is possible to get to Florida, driving, with the family for spring training. At least once in a decade or so. Which saves airfare, something that can be prohibitive for a lot of us with kids. And that IS a loss for fans. The Reds may be better off in Goodyear, but that won't stop a sizable number of fans from still being disappointed to have the possibilty of making a Reds spring training game go away. And, moving to Arizona does just that for many Reds fans.


I'm not missing the point.. the point is that the majority of Cincinnati folks never go west... I get that.

I have for 28 years now... I'm just getting it in a larger dose, they want to drive to Florida I get that.... no compromise.

Well like I said earlier, the big hero of the 80's (Marge) ruined that Florida scene when she yanked the team out of Tampa, they've been screwed since.

They're looking to overcome that, for the team... not the fans.

Chip R
03-09-2008, 12:02 PM
woy, you are missing the point. I've been to both Florida and Arizona. Both are pretty awesome, in their own ways.

But, for a bunch of fans in Cincy (and surrounding states), it is possible to get to Florida, driving, with the family for spring training. At least once in a decade or so. Which saves airfare, something that can be prohibitive for a lot of us with kids. And that IS a loss for fans. The Reds may be better off in Goodyear, but that won't stop a sizable number of fans from still being disappointed to have the possibilty of making a Reds spring training game go away. And, moving to Arizona does just that for many Reds fans.


Gosh, if there were only highways betwen Cincinnati and Arizona instead of just between Cincinnati and Florida.

membengal
03-09-2008, 12:02 PM
woy, I am not arguing that, but to get mad or rail on Reds fans who like the idea of being able to actually get to see them in a spring training game is pretty crappy.

Good for you that the team might fall into your lap (and for other western Reds fans). Heck, good for the Reds if it is as good as it sounds in terms of a deal and set-up. But that still won't stop the (hurt? pain? annoyance? sense of loss?) for many back on the other side of the country.

membengal
03-09-2008, 12:03 PM
Gosh, if there were only highways betwen Cincinnati and Arizona instead of just between Cincinnati and Florida.

Disingenuous Chip. And you know that. It is a ridiculously long drive to Arizona from Cincy. At least two days. If you have kids, maybe as much as three days. Florida can be reached in one long day from Cincy. That is a huge difference, as I am certain you know.

Chip R
03-09-2008, 12:12 PM
Disingenuous Chip. And you know that. It is a ridiculously long drive to Arizona from Cincy. At least two days. If you have kids, maybe as much as three days. Florida can be reached in one long day from Cincy. That is a huge difference, as I am certain you know.


So you make a vacation out of it. See the world's largest ball of twine in Oklahoma. Cross the Mississippi River. Let the family see that there are other parts of the country besides the Midwest and the Southeast. If the Reds go to Arizona, there's nothing you can do about it so why not make the best of it? Would it be more covenient for Reds fans in the tri-state area for the Reds to have ST in Florida instead of Arizona? No question about it. But I'm guessing if they really want to see the Reds in ST, they are going to go to Arizona and have a good time while they are there.

membengal
03-09-2008, 12:13 PM
They think lots of stuff is important all the time and are consistently proven wrong... perchance this is one of them?

BTW I hope they come west... for selfish reasons.

Just like all you folks in Cincinnati... oh and if some of y'all have never been to Arizona you shouldn't stick your nose in the air about it until you've been there at least once correct?

Actually, Marty and Thom are all for the move to Arizona. Marty was unequivocal in his disdain for how Sarasota has messed this up. And he's right about how Sarasota has messed it up. Without question.

But, again, "sticking nose in air" isn't the issue. Inacessibility is. Which, again, is not a deal-breaker. But is still disapointing for a lot of people.

membengal
03-09-2008, 12:16 PM
So you make a vacation out of it. See the world's largest ball of twine in Oklahoma. Cross the Mississippi River. Let the family see that there are other parts of the country besides the Midwest and the Southeast. If the Reds go to Arizona, there's nothing you can do about it so why not make the best of it? Would it be more covenient for Reds fans in the tri-state area for the Reds to have ST in Florida instead of Arizona? No question about it. But I'm guessing if they really want to see the Reds in ST, they are going to go to Arizona and have a good time while they are there.

Fine and all, IF they have the time for that kind of long vacation in March. Many don't.

There is no way to minimize it, moving the Reds there cuts off a lot of die-hards from something they have loved doing. That is not in and of itself a reason to squelch moving to Goodyear, but it certainly should not be puzzling to anyone about why some folks will be sorely disappointed.

Again, Goodyear may make a ton of sense. And should happen. But the disappointment is very understandable too, and has nothing to do with hating Arizona or what not.

Chip R
03-09-2008, 12:17 PM
Actually, Marty and Thom are all for the move to Arizona. Marty was unequivocal in his disdain for how Sarasota has messed this up. And he's right about how Sarasota has messed it up. Without question.


What I got out of it was that Marty and Thom couldn't care less where the Reds had ST as long as they could score free golf.

TeamBoone
03-09-2008, 12:49 PM
oh and if some of y'all have never been to Arizona you shouldn't stick your nose in the air about it until you've been there at least once correct?

I have been to AZ a couple times, Tucson and Phoenix. It's beautiful, but my concerns have absolutely nothing to with the area itself as I described in my previous post.

If you felt I was degrading your fair city/state, I apologize, as that is not it at all.



But, for a bunch of fans in Cincy (and surrounding states), it is possible to get to Florida, driving, with the family for spring training. At least once in a decade or so. Which saves airfare, something that can be prohibitive for a lot of us with kids. And that IS a loss for fans.

Nice post.

In addition to airfare, if you fly, you must also rent a car. All in all, it becomes a very expensive trip. I know I can't afford to do that and I'm sure it's a point for all Reds fans in the east. And, honestly, there are many more in the east than in the west.



Gosh, if there were only highways betwen Cincinnati and Arizona instead of just between Cincinnati and Florida.

Chip, you can drive from Cincinatti to Sarasota in a day (a long day) or stop overnight once if you choose. You can not do that from Cincinnati to Phoenix, thus you end up eating more vacation days on the road.

westofyou
03-09-2008, 12:58 PM
Well, I don't live in Arizona and haven't been there in 8 years... and it's 1000 miles from here so I ain't driving it. Will I fly? Perhaps... it's dry there, it's wet here...perhaps.

But my point is that I think Reds need worry about facilities, not whether or not snow birds will swing by the stadium in between trips to Epcot and the beach.

Cyclone792
03-09-2008, 01:37 PM
The Royals/Rangers facility in Surprise is just amazing - and that's the facility they are talking about patterning Goodyear after.

Down the 3rd baseline, about 150 feet behind the leftfield bleachers, the Royals massive office complex, and it's exact twin is on the 1st baseline

http://z.about.com/d/phoenix/1/0/r/e/1/surprisestadium01.jpg
http://z.about.com/d/phoenix/1/0/s/e/1/surprisestadium02.jpg

When I was in Surprise on Monday I could see about half a dozen Royals front office staff sitting off their office balcony watching the game. Right next to the office complex is a huge batting cage area, open where fans can walk right up during the game and watch players hit.

Peoria with the Ms & Padres have a similiar setup - both have massive clubhouse & office buildings on opposite sides of the site. The only real sharing involved is that the land is right next to each other that each team will use for practice fields and that both play in the same stadium on game days.

http://z.about.com/d/phoenix/1/0/I/C/2/peoriastadium2008_18.jpg

Both Surprise & Peoria have seperate Team shops for both clubs, and the best part is they are playing B games on the practice fields between the two clubs all the time - all they have to do is take a short walk to the other practice field.

Great pics, man! Thanks!

cincinnati chili
03-09-2008, 01:45 PM
http://z.about.com/d/phoenix/1/0/r/e/1/surprisestadium01.jpg
http://z.about.com/d/phoenix/1/0/s/e/1/surprisestadium02.jpg

Down the 3rd baseline, about 150 feet behind the leftfield bleachers, the Royals massive office complex, and it's exact twin is on the 1st baseline

I sense the need for CATAPULTS!

http://www.knightsedge.com/medieval-weapons/medieval-catapult-4804.jpg

Chip R
03-09-2008, 01:46 PM
Chip, you can drive from Cincinatti to Sarasota in a day (a long day) or stop overnight once if you choose. You can not do that from Cincinnati to Phoenix, thus you end up eating more vacation days on the road.


I understand that. As I said, my preference would be for ST to remain in FLA. However, there have been claims that one of the reasons people like FLA is not because of the shorter drive but because they can boat, fish and swim in the ocean. I did a little checking last night and found out that the Phoenix area has plenty of places to swim, boat and fish. Besides the shorter travel there is really nothing Florida offers that AZ doesn't have, except for humidity. My guess is that a lot of Reds fans are going to make lemonade out of lemons and go to AZ to watch ST. If they drive, will it be a longer trip? No doubt about it. But I would hope that those families treat it just not going down to ST but seeing a part of the country they haven't seen. Yeah, it's a few more days on the road but it's still baseball, it's still the Reds and it's still warm.

TeamBoone
03-09-2008, 01:47 PM
Lakes are not the same as the ocean.

Cyclone792
03-09-2008, 01:51 PM
Fine and all, IF they have the time for that kind of long vacation in March. Many don't.

There is no way to minimize it, moving the Reds there cuts off a lot of die-hards from something they have loved doing. That is not in and of itself a reason to squelch moving to Goodyear, but it certainly should not be puzzling to anyone about why some folks will be sorely disappointed.

Again, Goodyear may make a ton of sense. And should happen. But the disappointment is very understandable too, and has nothing to do with hating Arizona or what not.

A lot of die-hards?

The Reds' spring training attendance has been lousy for as long as I can remember. Ed Smith stadium is a dump with low capacity, and the die-hards that are supposedly down there can't even sell out a 7,500 seat stadium. And the fact that Sarasota wouldn't even offer to pony up for some renovations until the Reds made their Goodyear move just tells me everything I want to know about how serious Sarasota is about the Reds.

Here's what's sad: the average MLB spring training attendance is roughly 7,500 per game (the same as the capacity at Ed Smith). The Reds? They've never cracked 6,000 per game in any single year since they've been in Sarasota. In fact, the Reds spring total training attendance from 2002-07 couldn't even crack 5,000 per game.

And it doesn't even stop with spring training. Here's some numbers that will make you puke ...

2007 Minor League Attendance Average (per game)

Billings: 2,575
Dayton: 8,608
Sarasota: 598
Chattanooga: 3,458
Louisville: 9,210

That's right; the Sarasota Reds last year averaged 598 fans per game. That even includes that roster having Jay Bruce on it for part of the year. And that 598 per game figure ranks 262nd out of 263 teams, second last in all of minor league baseball. The only team that had lower attendance was a Northwoods League team, which is a summer collegiate only league.

How about 2006 when Homer Bailey was pitching in Sarasota? A whopping 532 fans per game.

Sarasota flat out does not deserve the Reds. They have awful facilities, didn't even want to upgrade those facilities until the Reds threatened to move, the spring training attendance is well below average, and the city just doesn't care at all about the high-A team.

As far as I'm concerned, screw Sarasota. Goodyear is welcoming the Reds with open arms, and they'll have incredible facilities to offer not only the Reds in spring training, but likely the high-A team since I'm sure (read: hoping) that the Reds move the Sarasota Reds the heck out of Sarasota.

This move is a no-brainer to me.

westofyou
03-09-2008, 02:11 PM
Lakes are not the same as the ocean.

Neither means squat to the Reds in the big picture.

membengal
03-09-2008, 02:17 PM
The people that go are die-hards, cyclone. And there are a number of them that will not be able to Goodyear. Hence, "a lot of diehards".

Again, I understand why Goodyear is the top choice. I think it's a good idea in a lot of respects. But you all who are trying to minimize disappointment with a treasured part of certain people's history of going to see the team who may not be able to do that in Arizona just need to let people be disappointed. Surely you can empathize a little, no?

M2
03-09-2008, 02:23 PM
So you make a vacation out of it.

If all you get is a week off (and if you're hoping to take any kind of summer vacation then a week in the spring is probably all you're going to get), then you're going to spend almost the whole trip getting there and back. Hardly a vacation. And with kids, it's a nightmare scenario.

On the whole water thing, Arizona is to water what Massachusetts is to mountains. We've got 'em, but if that's what you really like for skiing/hiking, then we're way down the list of destinations.

I guessing what it will really be put to the test is how many people want to build a vacation around Reds spring training? In Florida, ST can be more of a secondary activity - I'm going to Florida and I'm going to catch the Reds. In Arizona it will probably need to be the primary activity - I'm going to see the Reds and a bit of Arizona while I'm at it.

Of course, I maintain the site that loses the Reds actually wins, at least from a municipal standpoint.

M2
03-09-2008, 02:24 PM
Neither means squat to the Reds in the big picture.

Fans should. The Reds don't have so many that they can take them for granted.

Cyclone792
03-09-2008, 02:27 PM
The people that go are die-hards, cyclone. And there are a number of them that will not be able to Goodyear. Hence, "a lot of diehards".

Well they must be doing something other than actually attending games, because the Reds' attendance in Sarasota leaves quite a bit to be desired.


Again, I understand why Goodyear is the top choice. I think it's a good idea in a lot of respects. But you all who are trying to minimize disappointment with a treasured part of certain people's history of going to see the team who may not be able to do that in Arizona just need to let people be disappointed. Surely you can empathize a little, no?

If they were beating the doors down at Ed Smith and selling the place out, then maybe. But those die-hards aren't doing that, which is why I won't emphathize with them.

Heck I'd be much more apt to head west in a 10-12 day trip than I would to head down to Florida. It wouldn't be difficult to hit up Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and Goodyear in one trip, and that would be much more interesting than the Tampa/Sarasota area.

But that's just me.

pedro
03-09-2008, 02:33 PM
Ironically, Marty and Thom were talking about that during today's game (Saturday). They both seemed to think it was VERY important. It helps the clubs when the stands are full and bring mega revenue to the ST city (just as it does in the major leagues).

I believe the stadium in Goodyear is larger than the one in Sarasota, so they think that's a good thing... revenue wise.

So, if you think ST is all about baseball prep and the fans be damned... well, that's just not true. If it was, there would be no need for nice stadiums, especially for just a few weeks' time.

You're confusing revenue importance for the spring training host city with revenue importance for the reds.

M2
03-09-2008, 02:36 PM
As far as I'm concerned, screw Sarasota. Goodyear is welcoming the Reds with open arms, and they'll have incredible facilities to offer not only the Reds in spring training, but likely the high-A team since I'm sure (read: hoping) that the Reds move the Sarasota Reds the heck out of Sarasota.

This move is a no-brainer to me.

Except it won't be the high A locale because there's no high A league in Arizona. Your choices are the FSL, the Carolina League and the Cali League (which does not extend down to Arizona and the members of the league no doubt have zero interest in adding that kind of travel to their schedules).

From a developmental standpoint, I'm a big advocate of staying out of the Cali League. It's too hitter friendly. You risk shell-shocked pitchers and overconfident hitters. However, I think the Carolina League would be the natural home for a Reds affiliate as it could also be within the team's major league reach (like Dayton, Chattanooga and Louisville).

The Sarasota numbers are startling and they do argue for leaving that facility, but I'd caution that a lot of the problem with Sarasota is it's been run by the Reds (John Allen in particular - and that he's being allowed to make this decision just boggles the mind). What the Reds need for a high A affiliate is strong outside ownership that's committed to running a first class operation.

membengal
03-09-2008, 02:47 PM
Well they must be doing something other than actually attending games, because the Reds' attendance in Sarasota leaves quite a bit to be desired.



If they were beating the doors down at Ed Smith and selling the place out, then maybe. But those die-hards aren't doing that, which is why I won't emphathize with them.

Heck I'd be much more apt to head west in a 10-12 day trip than I would to head down to Florida. It wouldn't be difficult to hit up Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and Goodyear in one trip, and that would be much more interesting than the Tampa/Sarasota area.

But that's just me.

There ARE die-hards who are doing just that (going to games, Cyclone). Some sell out, most don't. It may be better in Goodyear, or, after the novely wears off, it may be much, much worse. Who knows? But, again, you are being needlessly cavalier with the genuine disappointment felt by many people. But, fine, officious is as officious does, cyclone.

Again, AGAIN, AGAIN, I understand why they may be going to Goodyear. It makes sense. But that does NOT mean that people should not be or will not be disappointed. I don't see why that is so hard to understand or why, frankly, some of you are being so callous with regard to them expressing their disappointment.

Cyclone792
03-09-2008, 02:52 PM
Except it won't be the high A locale because there's no high A league in Arizona. Your choices are the FSL, the Carolina League and the Cali League (which does not extend down to Arizona and the members of the league no doubt have zero interest in adding that kind of travel to their schedules).

From a developmental standpoint, I'm a big advocate of staying out of the Cali League. It's too hitter friendly. You risk shell-shocked pitchers and overconfident hitters. However, I think the Carolina League would be the natural home for a Reds affiliate as it could also be within the team's major league reach (like Dayton, Chattanooga and Louisville).

The Sarasota numbers are startling and they do argue for leaving that facility, but I'd caution that a lot of the problem with Sarasota is it's been run by the Reds (John Allen in particular - and that he's being allowed to make this decision just boggles the mind). What the Reds need for a high A affiliate is strong outside ownership that's committed to running a first class operation.

I'm with you on the Carolina League, and I'd also prefer the Reds stay out of the Cal League as well. Though if it came down to it, I'd rather the Reds high-A team be in the Cal League than in Sarasota. It's just a waste to have their high-A team in a situation where they're drawing as few fans down there as they are.

A well-run high-A squad in the Carolina League would also help reach out to Reds fans in the southeastern portion of the Reds regional market. There's plenty of Reds fans in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky, and a few other chunks of Reds fans in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina (probably a few in western Virginia too). I'm betting if the Reds could land a high-A team in that region and run it first class that it would garner some very nice support.

M2
03-09-2008, 02:54 PM
I'm with you on the Carolina League, and I'd also prefer the Reds stay out of the Cal League as well. Though if it came down to it, I'd rather the Reds high-A team be in the Cal League than in Sarasota. It's just a waste to have their high-A team in a situation where they're drawing as few fans down there as they are.

A well-run high-A squad in the Carolina League would also help reach out to Reds fans in the southeastern portion of the Reds regional market. There's plenty of Reds fans in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky, and a few other chunks of Reds fans in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina (probably a few in western Virginia too). I'm betting if the Reds could land a high-A team in that region and run it first class that it would garner some very nice support.

Agreed, with the caveat that the Reds shouldn't run the affiliate.

Cyclone792
03-09-2008, 03:00 PM
There ARE die-hards who are doing just that (going to games, Cyclone). Some sell out, most don't. It may be better in Goodyear, or, after the novely wears off, it may be much, much worse. Who knows? But, again, you are being needlessly cavalier with the genuine disappointment felt by many people. But, fine, officious is as officious does, cyclone.

Again, AGAIN, AGAIN, I understand why they may be going to Goodyear. It makes sense. But that does NOT mean that people should not be or will not be disappointed. I don't see why that is so hard to understand or why, frankly, some of you are being so callous with regard to them expressing their disappointment.

mem, you're missing my point.

There simply isn't enough die-hards going to those games. The attendance figures speak for themselves so I have no idea why you're arguing against them. Again, I have little sympathy if the Reds spring training attendance is continually in the bottom third of all MLB teams, which is where it's been for as long as I can remember.

By the way, Buckeyes fans would know more about this than I do, but there is a pretty strong Ohio State following down in Arizona with many Ohio State transplants living down there. And many, many Ohio State fans also happen to be Reds fans. My guess is die-hard support wouldn't fall off much, if at all, because there's likely already a good number of die-hards already in that region.

cincrazy
03-09-2008, 03:09 PM
mem, you're missing my point.

There simply isn't enough die-hards going to those games. The attendance figures speak for themselves so I have no idea why you're arguing against them. Again, I have little sympathy if the Reds spring training attendance is continually in the bottom third of all MLB teams, which is where it's been for as long as I can remember.

By the way, Buckeyes fans would know more about this than I do, but there is a pretty strong Ohio State following down in Arizona with many Ohio State transplants living down there. And many, many Ohio State fans also happen to be Reds fans. My guess is die-hard support wouldn't fall off much, if at all, because there's likely already a good number of die-hards already in that region.

I can second you on that. There are MANY Ohio transplants in general in Arizona, and I think the Reds will develop a good following, especially in a new facility.

I hate to see the Reds leave Sarasota. I know a lot of people that plan vacations around seeing the Reds in Florida every year. It's something special. But the fact of the matter is, the city is to blame for the Reds leaving. Sarasota doesn't deserve a major league franchise, period. Especially one with as much history as the Reds.

Chip R
03-09-2008, 03:37 PM
Lakes are not the same as the ocean.


You're right. Lakes don't have problems with hurricanes or jellyfish or stingrays or sharks. You don't have to worry about salt water getting in your hair.

I'm not trying to say AZ is better or worse than FLA. ALl I'm saying is that if the Reds do move ST to AZ, it isn't going to be the monumental disaster that people think it will be. If people love ST in FLA so much, there are the Yankees, Reds Sox, Twins, Phillies, Cardinals, Orioles, Rays, Braves, Pirates, Nationals, Rangers and Astros to watch. We can wring our hands, complain and pout if the Reds move to AZ but there isn't a thing we can do about it if it happens. I'm a pretty optimistic person so I would embrace the changes and make the best of it and find a way of going to AZ. I guarantee I'll have more fun there than people will here complaining about the Reds being so far away.

M2
03-09-2008, 03:42 PM
You're right. Lakes don't have problems with hurricanes or jellyfish or stingrays or sharks. You don't have to worry about salt water getting in your hair.

And you can drive 20 minutes and find one.

I'm a big fan of lakes, but if you want to talk about vacation destinations, ocean and gulf beaches are the king of the castle. That's what's really going on here. The Reds are moving from the most popular vacation state there is to something middle of the pack. While Arizona's certainly got its plusses, it's never going to be the top vacation spot in the U.S. ... unless California falls into the Pacific Trench and it suddenly finds itself next to an ocean.

cincrazy
03-09-2008, 03:58 PM
You're right. Lakes don't have problems with hurricanes or jellyfish or stingrays or sharks. You don't have to worry about salt water getting in your hair.

I'm not trying to say AZ is better or worse than FLA. ALl I'm saying is that if the Reds do move ST to AZ, it isn't going to be the monumental disaster that people think it will be. If people love ST in FLA so much, there are the Yankees, Reds Sox, Twins, Phillies, Cardinals, Orioles, Rays, Braves, Pirates, Nationals, Rangers and Astros to watch. We can wring our hands, complain and pout if the Reds move to AZ but there isn't a thing we can do about it if it happens. I'm a pretty optimistic person so I would embrace the changes and make the best of it and find a way of going to AZ. I guarantee I'll have more fun there than people will here complaining about the Reds being so far away.

I'm not sure the state of Florida appreciates you letting it be known that the Orioles, Rays, Pirates and Nationals call the state home during spring training ;)

RBA
03-09-2008, 04:54 PM
I vote for Arizona. I also vote to move the Reds regular season to Caesar's Palace in a retractable roof stadium where Pete Rose can sell his autograph and sports memorabilia.

M2
03-09-2008, 05:12 PM
I vote for Arizona. I also vote to move the Reds regular season to Caesar's Palace in a retractable roof stadium where Pete Rose can sell his autograph and sports memorabilia.

Now there's a guy with a unified theory.

jojo
03-09-2008, 06:36 PM
You're right. Lakes don't have problems with hurricanes or jellyfish or stingrays or sharks. You don't have to worry about salt water getting in your hair.

I'm not trying to say AZ is better or worse than FLA. ALl I'm saying is that if the Reds do move ST to AZ, it isn't going to be the monumental disaster that people think it will be. If people love ST in FLA so much, there are the Yankees, Reds Sox, Twins, Phillies, Cardinals, Orioles, Rays, Braves, Pirates, Nationals, Rangers and Astros to watch. We can wring our hands, complain and pout if the Reds move to AZ but there isn't a thing we can do about it if it happens. I'm a pretty optimistic person so I would embrace the changes and make the best of it and find a way of going to AZ. I guarantee I'll have more fun there than people will here complaining about the Reds being so far away.

If you're family pet gets eaten by an alligator in Arizona, you're truly snake bitten.

REDREAD
03-10-2008, 12:14 AM
Of course, I maintain the site that loses the Reds actually wins, at least from a municipal standpoint.

I agree with you there. I'm sorry the East Coast fans that enjoyed going to Florida will no longer be able to, but cities have to stop letting themselves be held hostage by sports teams.

Maybe Sarasota saw the empty promises Allen made while he was the Emperor of the Reds and decided not trust the Sith Lord.

REDREAD
03-10-2008, 12:22 AM
mem, you're missing my point.

There simply isn't enough die-hards going to those games. The attendance figures speak for themselves so I have no idea why you're arguing against them. Again, I have little sympathy if the Reds spring training attendance is continually in the bottom third of all MLB teams, which is where it's been for as long as I can remember.

.

According to this link:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/attend.shtml

The Reds were 13th out of 16 in the NL in attendence during the regular season.

The franchise has been floundering for over a decade. Anyone who still follows this team is a diehard.

My guess is that excitement about spring training games mirrors excitement about the actual product. I don't expect the Reds to do much better, no matter where they go.

The casual fan in Florida isn't going to pick the Reds to go see..

savafan
03-10-2008, 12:29 AM
The casual fan in Florida isn't going to pick the Reds to go see..

I imagine that it'd be even less likely for the casual fan in Arizona.

REDREAD
03-10-2008, 01:06 AM
I imagine that it'd be even less likely for the casual fan in Arizona.

That's my point. The Reds are not a drawing card, no matter where they go.

Thus if poor attendence in Florida was a factor in moving, I think the Reds will be disappointed with their attendence in AZ too.

As I understand, the Reds will be sharing a stadium, so there won't even be a "new team" novelty factor to boost them for the first year or two.

In all seriousness, if you were a casual fan with no affillation, wouldn't you rather see the Indians than the Reds? (Am I wrong, but aren't we sharing with the Indians.. I could be confused, as I haven't been following this too closely).

Johnny Footstool
03-10-2008, 02:04 AM
That's my point. The Reds are not a drawing card, no matter where they go.

Thus if poor attendence in Florida was a factor in moving, I think the Reds will be disappointed with their attendence in AZ too.

As I understand, the Reds will be sharing a stadium, so there won't even be a "new team" novelty factor to boost them for the first year or two.

In all seriousness, if you were a casual fan with no affillation, wouldn't you rather see the Indians than the Reds? (Am I wrong, but aren't we sharing with the Indians.. I could be confused, as I haven't been following this too closely).


Retirees have very vivid memories of the Big Red Machine. The Indians reeked for a good portion of those retirees' lives.

Honestly, though, the people in Goodyear won't really care -- they'll come out to see big-league baseball players in their backyard.

Reds/Flyers Fan
03-10-2008, 04:31 AM
From someone who lives in the West and much closer to Arizona than Florida, this is disappointing.

Goodyear, Ariz., sounds like some cheesy, homogenized suburb. Sharing a facility with Cleveland makes me ill. And what, exactly, is there to do in Goodyear after the game? Go to the beach? No. Fish? Nope. Boat? Nah.

But hey, Vegas and the Grand Canyon are only what, 7 hours away?

*BaseClogger*
03-10-2008, 10:21 AM
From someone who lives in the West and much closer to Arizona than Florida, this is disappointing.

Goodyear, Ariz., sounds like some cheesy, homogenized suburb. Sharing a facility with Cleveland makes me ill. And what, exactly, is there to do in Goodyear after the game? Go to the beach? No. Fish? Nope. Boat? Nah.

But hey, Vegas and the Grand Canyon are only what, 7 hours away?

Should this be a concern of the Cincinnati Reds when they consider which site best prepares the team for the season?

RBA
03-10-2008, 10:38 AM
But hey, Vegas and the Grand Canyon are only what, 7 hours away?

Vegas is 5 hours 4 minutes and the Grand Canyon is 3 hours 47 minutes according to google Maps. Also San Diego is 5 hours 5 minutes. Disneyland is 5 hours 13 minutes.

15fan
03-10-2008, 10:39 AM
And what, exactly, is there to do in Goodyear after the game? Go to the beach? No. Fish? Nope. Boat? Nah.

I've never set foot in Arizona.

But from what I've heard, there's a crapload of golf courses. That's a big draw for a large segment of society. Golf in the am, a baseball game in the afternoon, catch the early bird for dinner, then turn in after the national news is over. ;)

Chip R
03-10-2008, 10:48 AM
But from what I've heard, there's a crapload of golf courses. That's a big draw for a large segment of society. Golf in the am, a baseball game in the afternoon, catch the early bird for dinner, then turn in after the national news is over. ;)


You've just described a typical day in the life of RFS62.

RBA
03-10-2008, 11:11 AM
I've never set foot in Arizona.

But from what I've heard, there's a crapload of golf courses. That's a big draw for a large segment of society. Golf in the am, a baseball game in the afternoon, catch the early bird for dinner, then turn in after the national news is over. ;)

There is a Golden Corral in Goodyear. And Hometown Buffet and Old Country Buffet are within 10 miles. The TRIFECTA.

WebScorpion
03-10-2008, 01:32 PM
Goodyear is about 20 minutes from Phoenix, which has extensive big city attractions, The Heard Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture, etc. The Sonora Desert offers tons of biking and hiking trails, horseback riding, stargazing, etc. It's not that there is nothing to do, just that they are different things than Florida.

westofyou
03-10-2008, 01:35 PM
The Heard Museum

Great place.

pedro
03-10-2008, 01:47 PM
Goodyear is about 20 minutes from Phoenix, which has extensive big city attractions, The Heard Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture, etc. The Sonora Desert offers tons of biking and hiking trails, horseback riding, stargazing, etc. It's not that there is nothing to do, just that they are different things than Florida.

Plus there is NHL Hockey, NBA basketball, Arizona State & they often hold regional NCAA Basketball Tournaments there in March.

And Mexican Food. REAL Mexican Food.

M2
03-10-2008, 02:11 PM
Goodyear is about 20 minutes from Phoenix, which has extensive big city attractions, The Heard Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture, etc. The Sonora Desert offers tons of biking and hiking trails, horseback riding, stargazing, etc. It's not that there is nothing to do, just that they are different things than Florida.

True. Different, but decidedly less popular. More people want to go to Florida. There's no use in pretending otherwise. I don't care for Florida myself. I'd probably enjoy a week in Arizona better, but people have already voted with their feet on this. Florida tops the list for destination vacations. People like beaches. People like Disney. The number of planes flying in and out of Florida every day dwarfs the number flying in and out of Arizona.

That's not a knock on Arizona. It's a testament to the popularity of Florida.

The Reds can move out to Goodyear and it may very well be a sound business decision to do so (free facilities are hard to turn down), but there's no way that's where the bulk of the fan base wants them to go. Will some take a liking to Arizona? I imagine so. Others won't. And yet others won't even bother. Since it's not overly hard to get a few thousand people in for a dirt cheap ST ticket price, I doubt attendance will flag overall - and let's be honest, the Reds' ST problems go way beyond facilities and location. Yet in no way can this be construed as a decision geared toward the home fans.

Then again, let's mention the 800-lb. gorilla in the room. So Arizona ST facilities aren't necessarily the preference of Cincinnati fans. But can you guarantee me that in 25 years Cincinnati will still be the home to the Reds? This ST move strikes me as recognition that greener pastures exist outside of where the club has traditionally done its business. I suspect in the dark corners of the human this might look like a prelude to some.

I'm not saying the Reds are going anywhere anytime soon, but if the population and money continue to migrate elsewhere, then 20 years down the road there might be a big league city putting an offer the franchise can't refuse on the table.

flyer85
03-10-2008, 02:21 PM
Who knows what might happen in 20 years. Right now there are a couple of Florida teams that would love to move to greener pastures but there is no place to go at the moment.

RBA
03-10-2008, 02:35 PM
Now playing left field for the Beijing Reds, Adam Dunn Jr. Are there cows in China?

remdog
03-10-2008, 04:45 PM
Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West---Great Place.

Rem

Unassisted
03-10-2008, 06:02 PM
Hadn't heard this before. There's a staggering difference between the deals the Reds are getting in Sarasota and Goodyear. Sarasota wants $10M upfront from the Reds vs. the $150K/yr that Goodyear will charge them as a fee. No wonder the choice is a no-brainer.

http://www.sun-herald.com/breakingnews.cfm?id=4990


Cincinnati Reds close to leaving Sarasota for good
(Last updated: March 10, 2008 3:58 PM)

Sarasota County Commission Chairwoman Shannon Staub fears she and her colleagues may have lost out in keeping the Cincinnati Reds in Sarasota as their spring training home

By STEVEN J. SMITH
Staff Writer

Timing is everything, as any major league hitter will tell you.

And just as a batter needs perfect timing to connect with a 90-mph fastball, County Commission Chairwoman Shannon Staub believed her colleagues' "timing was crucial" to keep the Cincinnati Reds in Sarasota.

"We missed the timing," Staub admitted.

Staub feared she and her fellow commissioners may have struck out by not coming up with a workable deal sooner than the last ditch one they made Feb. 12.

That deal, based on using a half penny of tourist development tax dollars for improvements to Ed Smith Stadium over a 30-year period -- instead of an earlier, unsupported 15-year plan -- finally scored Commissioner Nora Patterson's needed vote. Patterson held out for the higher revenues a 30-year plan would bring, which would go to beach maintenance and renourishment.

By the time the commissioners reached an agreement among themselves, however, the Reds had already entered into negotiations with city officials in Goodyear, Ariz.

According to Patrick Calhoon, Ed Smith Stadium facilities manager, the Goodyear package is a very good one: a $32 million commitment, including financing for practice fields and a clubhouse for the team, which would share a stadium with the Cleveland Indians as soon as 2010.

In addition, the Reds would only have to pay an annual rental fee of $150,000 as opposed to the nearly $10 million they have agreed to contribute toward the $41 million in renovations needed for Ed Smith Stadium.

Staub was hard-pressed to express much optimism about keeping the Reds in Sarasota.

"I'm just praying," she said. "The last time I talked to (Reds president and CEO Bob) Castellini, they were pretty well committed that if Goodyear wanted them, that's what they would do."

Goodyear has until mid-April to forge that deal.

marcshoe
03-10-2008, 06:53 PM
I'm a big fan of Arizona and all, but perhaps the Reds aren't considering all the hidden dangers. I heard this on XM earlier today, but here's a print source (not much of one, but it's hard to link to a radio broadcast):


First Cactus-Related Injury Is Reported

Jimmy Gobble had a cactus thorn removed from one of his big toes on Sunday morning. Gobble got the thorn stuck in his foot after accidentally kicking a cactus while playing golf early in spring training.

http://www.springtraining08.com/royals/first-cactusrelated-injury-is.php

vaticanplum
03-10-2008, 08:45 PM
Then again, let's mention the 800-lb. gorilla in the room. So Arizona ST facilities aren't necessarily the preference of Cincinnati fans. But can you guarantee me that in 25 years Cincinnati will still be the home to the Reds? This ST move strikes me as recognition that greener pastures exist outside of where the club has traditionally done its business. I suspect in the dark corners of the human this might look like a prelude to some.

Oh my god. Hold your tongue. I have lost enough faith in the world already.

In all seriousness, did anybody else think of this? I sure didn't...which is not to say there isn't some truth there.

KronoRed
03-10-2008, 09:13 PM
In all seriousness, did anybody else think of this? I sure didn't...which is not to say there isn't some truth there.
Reds will move to Dayton before they head west.

JaxRed
03-10-2008, 09:13 PM
While the Arizona deal is friendlier to the Reds financially, the Reds are NOT required to pay 10 million up front. They pay higher rent, and are responsible for cost overruns, and upkeep of the stadium under the proposed Sarasota deal.

However, there were factors which lowered the 10 million also. Sarasota would give the Reds the right to name the stadium. When the Reds sold those rights, the money would go to Sarasota but count as costs paid by the Reds. If the Reds bought the workout equipment or their own furniture, it counts toward the 10 milllion.

Unassisted
03-10-2008, 09:21 PM
Reds will move to Dayton before they head west.It's not the west you need to fear your favorite team slinking off to in the dark of night, it's the Sun Belt.

Even so, the demographics say that an MLB team moving south will probably happen in Pittsburgh or Cleveland before it happens in Cincinnati. You'll have plenty of time and warning before you need to paint those picket signs. ;)

KronoRed
03-10-2008, 09:40 PM
It's not the west you need to fear your favorite team slinking off to in the dark of night, it's the Sun Belt.


If Cincinnati falls behind the cities down there then they will have only themselves to blame

jmcclain19
03-13-2008, 04:11 PM
On XM this morning Buck Martinez went on a idiotic rant saying that MLB needs to step in and stop this and "force the Reds to improve their facility there" for the good of baseball. Because having 15 teams in each league is catastrophic for team development apparently. SS games are not the end of the world guys - and Id bet cash money no one would be saying the same thing about a large market team looking to do the same thing.

SirFelixCat
03-13-2008, 06:03 PM
:KoolAid::thumbup::beerme:

From CTrent the other day:



Sayonara Sarasota
Wednesday 03-12-2008 2:48pm ET
It appears the Reds will be headed west for spring training in 2010. The city of Goodyear, Ariz., announced it has found the funding of $33 million to bring the Reds to Arizona and join the Indians for spring training.

From a Goodyear, Ariz., press release:


The city of Goodyear has found a way to fund the estimated $33 million cost of bringing the Cincinnati Reds' Spring Training operation to its new ballpark, and is moving forward with negotiations with the team.

"We have met the terms of the Exclusivity Agreement with the Reds," said Interim City Manager Brian Dalke. "The funding sources have been identified. However, in keeping with the terms of our agreement with the Reds, that information will remain confidential while we move forward with negotiations."

The announcement comes a day before the March 13 deadline for identifying funding, set out in the Exclusivity Agreement signed on Jan. 28 by Goodyear and the Reds.

"The Reds organization is extremely pleased with the financing plan that the city of Goodyear has presented to us," said John Allen on behalf of the Reds. "We look forward to continuing our discussions and will hopefully complete the agreement in early April."

If negotiations with the Reds are successful, the team would begin training in Goodyear in 2010. The Reds would join the Cleveland Indians and become Goodyear's second Ohio-based spring training ball club. The Indians will move their training facilities to Goodyear in time for the 2009 spring training season.

According to the Exclusivity Agreement, Goodyear and the Reds must both refrain from discussing or negotiating for spring training facilities or teams with anyone except each other. The 75-day agreement expires April 11.

Details regarding financing plans and funding sources will not be released during the 75-day negotiation period, Dalke said, adding that discussions with the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority (AZSTA) are continuing.

Quick facts about the Goodyear Ballpark and Recreational Sports Complex:

The $76 million Goodyear Ballpark and Recreational Sports Complex will serve as a year-round training facility for the Cleveland Indians. The practice fields are expected to be completed this summer. The ballpark will be ready for action in February 2009, just in time for Spring Training. (For the Indians)

The ballpark and sports complex will be located south of Yuma Road and east of Estrella Parkway. The ballpark will be built on a 3-acre site. The clubhouse and practice fields will be situated on a separate 52-acre site to the south.

The ballpark will seat up to 10,000 fans, including 500 premium box seats, 8,000 fixed seats and space for 1,500 spectators on a grassy berm in the outfield.

Goodyear’s ballpark will be the centerpiece of Ballpark Village, a $1 billion mixed-use development featuring offices, shops, restaurants, housing, hotels and a conference center. The ground-level concourse is a key design element for the stadium, linking the ballpark to the nearby businesses.

The Recreational Sports Complex will house a clubhouse and practice fields that will serve as a year-round training facility for the Indians. Goodyear residents will have access to four major practice fields 10 months of the year.

The Indians will have exclusive use of the facilities during the two-month Spring Training season. The City of Goodyear will also use the ballpark and field area for special events and seasonal specials throughout the year.

jmcclain19
03-15-2008, 09:12 PM
Looks like the deal is not 100% done

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080315&content_id=2429454&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin&partnered=rss_cin


GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A Reds official was right when he said earlier in the week a deal to move into a Spring Training complex that the team would share with the Indians wasn't sealed yet, Goodyear Mayor James Cavanaugh said.

While the financial framework for the team's move here was resolved Wednesday, Cavanaugh said the question remains whether he can convince Goodyear's city council to approve the funding package, which Reds officials and the city have declined to outline publicly.

"The City of Goodyear is coming up with $33 million," said Cavanaugh, whose city already has the funding to bring the Indians here next spring. "It's all a function of the city's willingness to do it. But I'm not sure how the council will vote."

The council is scheduled to vote on the funding package for a second team on April 7, and Cavanaugh said the council's concerns center on what pouring more city dollars into expanding the sports complex might do to other projects on the drawing board.

Goodyear, a city of 55,000 people, has plans in place to build a city center and a new City Hall in the area around the sports complex on Estrella Parkway, two miles south of Interstate 10.

"What will happen, almost assuredly, is this [project] will bump one or two other requirements that are important to us downstream," the mayor said in an interview Friday.

Absent council's approval, the city's deal with the Reds will likely not happen, unless the state comes to the rescue. Various media outlets have reported that John Allen, the former chief operating officer for the Reds and the team's point man in the negotiations, continues to talk with the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority about contributing to the project.

Cavanaugh had his doubts the city and the Reds can count on the state for money, not with the tight budget the state is wrestling with.

He said the sports authority, which is providing a portion of the money for the construction of the Spring Training complex, isn't contributing to the financial package the city put together for a second clubhouse and additional diamonds at Goodyear Park.

Even if the authority did find money, it wouldn't be money Goodyear could use immediately.

"No matter what, we aren't going to have money for the Reds from any source other than our own bank account for 10, 15 years, at least," the mayor said.

But Cavanaugh said he remained hopeful that council will see the economic benefits of having a second team share the 10,000-seat ballpark and the adjunct diamonds. The state has put a figure of $20 million a year in economic benefit to the state for each Major League team with a Spring Training complex in Arizona.

Most of that money stays in the area where it is generated, Cavanaugh said.

He stressed, however, that the complex doesn't need a second team to make it viable. It's just better to have two teams, not one.

"If you can get two teams vs. one there, it's better for us," he said. "So every day, we will have a game in the month of March, which is good."

The council's vote is the last remaining hurdle, and it runs up against the final days of an exclusive 75-day negotiating window the city has with the Reds, who now train in Sarasota, Fla.. That negotiating window will close on April 11.

"[Team president Robert] Castenilli and Allen told me, 'We are going to Goodyear if Goodyear has the money,'" Cavanaugh said. "That's pretty strong."

JaxRed
03-15-2008, 10:11 PM
Hard to tell from that the level of concern on the City Council. It is obvious that Goodyear tried to get other money and came up empty. Now, since everyone knew that was at least a possibility from the get-go (Tourism board said all along they had no money), the city absorbing the cost had to be a consideration all along.

Unassisted
03-15-2008, 10:14 PM
Hard to tell from that the level of concern on the City Council. It is obvious that Goodyear tried to get other money and came up empty. Now, since everyone knew that was at least a possibility from the get-go (Tourism board said all along they had no money), the city absorbing the cost had to be a consideration all along.Considering that Goodyear knows the details of the Reds fallback deal that's on the table in Sarasota, there may be some sentiment on the council to try to get them to kick in a few million upfront. I'm sure that a contribution from the Reds would make the deal easier to sell to their constituents.

westofyou
03-18-2008, 11:18 AM
http://www.1530homer.com/pages/ctrent.html



* I'll miss Sarasota but, the city hasn't done much to help. It doesn't seem like the people of Sarasota really care that they're losing the Reds. I like Sarasota, and think it's probably the best location for Spring Training, but I heard a worker at the stadium got a call from a fan asking if the toilets were working that day. That's Ed Smith Stadium.

BCubb2003
03-18-2008, 02:06 PM
There will probably be a bunch of grumpy people around "tired old Ed Smith stadium" in spring 2009.