PDA

View Full Version : Arizona city reconsiders Reds' spring training move



TeamBoone
03-23-2008, 12:59 PM
March 23, 2008 9:25 AM ET


Arizona city reconsiders Reds' spring training move
Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) - Some city leaders in a Phoenix suburb are having second thoughts about spending $33 million needed to lure the Cincinnati Reds to a new spring training home.

The money would be spent on a new ballpark in Goodyear.

Councilwoman Joanne Osborne says she opposes paying for the park because the town hasn't been able to build up its downtown or a library. She says it's about priorities.

The Reds currently have spring training in Sarasota, Fla., but are interested in joining Arizona's Cactus League in 2010. Four Goodyear City Council members must agree to pay for the new facilities but only three are on board.

Work has already begun on the facilities. Without an agreement over the next month the Reds can walk away.

Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com
http://www.wane.com:80/Global/story.asp?S=8056684&nav=0RYd

RBA
03-23-2008, 01:53 PM
Full story doesn't seem so bad.

Goodyear's bid for Reds hits snag

Jessica Coomes
The Arizona Republic
Mar. 22, 2008 12:00 AM
With money (http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0322reds0322.html#) tight in Goodyear, some city leaders are questioning whether spring training is the smartest way to spend $33 million.

The Cincinnati Reds stand to join the Cactus League in 2010, but four City Council members must agree to pay for the team's training amenities. So far, only three are on board.

The proposal has revived the universal debate over spending public funds to build sports (http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0322reds0322.html#) facilities. The debate is worsened in this economic downturn as Goodyear, which had been counting on sales tax from a booming construction industry, now expects to bring in $12 million less than anticipated this year. advertisement http://www.azcentral.com/imgs/clear.gif http://gcirm.azcentral.gcion.com/RealMedia/.ads/adstream_lx.ads/www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0322reds0322.html/1136659750/ArticleFlex_1/OasDefault/az_science_center_titanic_targ_3/titanic-300x250.html/34383832613131663437653533353830?_RM_EMPTY_ http://www.azcentral.com/imgs/clear.gif

"The issue is the money," said Goodyear Councilwoman Joanne Osborne, who opposes paying for the new facilities. "It's about priorities. We don't have a downtown. We don't have a library. We don't have the things our citizens want and have asked for."

Supporters argue spending $33 million to build the Reds' clubhouse and practice fields is an investment that will pay dividends into the local economy for years.

Next spring, the Cleveland Indians will train in the Goodyear ballpark under construction.

Goodyear split the $75 million cost for that project with the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority. But because the authority's funding has since dried up, Goodyear would pay the full $33 million for the Reds on its own.

Using public money to build sports venues has a record of volatile debates, said Ray Artigue, executive director of the MBA sports-business program at Arizona State University.

"With all that's been written and discussed about public subsidy of sports facilities, that weighs on politicians in their effort to do what's right for the city but also for themselves in terms of the next election," Artigue said. "It's played out in cities all over America.

"But at the end of the discussion, it seems to me, the great majority of the citizens come to believe these venues and these teams are valuable assets and even points of pride for our cities and our state."

Three of the seven Goodyear council members say spending $33 million for the Reds is the right thing to do. Two others are on the fence; one is against the spending, and one will recuse himself from the vote April 7.

If Goodyear and the Reds don't reach an agreement by next month, the team can walk away from exclusive negotiations.

"I'm for it 100 percent," Councilman Dick Sousa said. "With two teams, and the enthusiasm of two Ohio teams, I think the impact on tourism would be so great over a long haul."

The tourism draw of two Ohio teams is clear, Artigue said. Midwestern tourists would have double the reasons to visit Arizona in the spring.

"If the Reds are there, quite simply, all of the winter visitors and even full-time residents here in the Valley that are from the Ohio area are going to migrate out to Goodyear and spend money to watch the games, to eat, to shop. And so, it has a magnetic pull for fans of those teams," Artigue said.

The undecided council members want to know if other major municipal projects would be delayed to build the Reds' training facilities.

The financial details will unfold over the next couple of weeks.

"I'm still making a decision on spending $33 million of local taxpayers' money on what is a regional benefit. I still have to weigh the pros and cons of that," Goodyear Vice Mayor Rob Antoniak said.

Mayor Jim Cavanaugh this week asked the sports authority's board of directors to put the city into a queue to be the first to receive money if it becomes available.

Brad Wright, who chairs the authority's Cactus League committee, supports the idea. He also said he backs efforts to bring the Reds to Goodyear after team representative John Allen said the ballclub would not consider moving to Tucson, where the Chicago White Sox's imminent departure leaves a void.

"The proposed concept is doable for the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, putting them in the queue in the event funds (http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0322reds0322.html#) become available," Wright said. "But that's going to require striking a balance between the needs of our existing teams and Goodyear."

Glendale, in particular, has an interest in the queue. City officials said Glendale's ballpark, the future home of the White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers, is being funded by the authority at just under the level that was promised.



This may be Goodyear's only chance to land a second team, so Councilwoman Brenda Holland said the city needs to act now.

An arrangement that allows the city to buy discounted property for practice fields and a clubhouse will disappear in February.

"I know that having a new City Hall and a new library and a performing-arts center are very important to the city, and yet you start thinking about what can we do to bring revenue into our city when we're going through an economic downturn," Holland said.

"You only have a couple of choices: You bring in something that's going to bring in a lot of money, or you sit tight."

redsrule2500
03-23-2008, 01:59 PM
Well I personally want the Reds to stay in their native time zone. It just makes more sense IMO. also there are teams in the grapefruit league to play against.

JaxRed
03-23-2008, 02:07 PM
Actually there is a smart fallback position for Goodyear. Buy the discounted land, so they can keep their options open for the future, and just wait to see how their revenue streams from the first team work out.

The teams in Tuscon will be looking for a place soon.

REDREAD
03-24-2008, 12:02 AM
I've got to question how much additional money a second spring training team would bring to Arizona.. personally, if I lived in that city, I doubt adding the Reds would offset the 33 million that they have to spend to get them there..

I find it quite amusing that some of the council members feel that adding the Reds will be a huge magnet for Ohio tourists, when the Florida attendence is realitively poor compared to other teams..

Unassisted
03-24-2008, 12:09 AM
Wow... I see this as a harbinger that the deal is about to collapse. The pols are asking good and difficult questions in response to some citizen opposition. I give the deal about a 30% chance of succeeding now.

Chip R
03-24-2008, 12:21 AM
I wonder if this were the Red Sox or the Yankees or even the Cardinals wanting to move there that the money would become available. It's possible that due to this franchise's miasma over the last decade that they aren't quite the hot ticket anymore.

I also wonder if this deal collapses that the Reds will have to go back to Sarasota hat in hand.

Caveat Emperor
03-24-2008, 02:02 AM
"The issue is the money," said Goodyear Councilwoman Joanne Osborne, who opposes paying for the new facilities. "It's about priorities. We don't have a downtown. We don't have a library. We don't have the things our citizens want and have asked for."

When you put a group of politicians in a room and turn the topic to sports construction and/or stadium building, you'll always get at least one quote that looks exactly like this. It's in their nature to try and mine opportunity out of this kind of an issue.

Google "Linda Cropp" (of Washington DC City Council "fame") to get a more major-league example.

KronoRed
03-24-2008, 02:07 AM
I also wonder if this deal collapses that the Reds will have to go back to Sarasota hat in hand.

Maybe they can become the first team to abandon the idea of ST in Florida and Arizona and train somewhere near where they actually play.


Nah.... ;)

jmcclain19
03-24-2008, 02:07 AM
Just FYI - Tucson was saying this weekend that they are now fully dedicated to finding a new home for the soon to be vacated White Sox slot at Tucson Electric Park - excellent facilities that are less than 10 years old. There is a clause in the contract of the Dbacks & Rockies that lets them out of staying in Tucson if it is just the two of them, so Tucson is making the full court press.

If the Goodyear deal falls thru - expect this connection to crop up immediately after.

redsrule2500
03-24-2008, 10:51 AM
Just FYI - Tucson was saying this weekend that they are now fully dedicated to finding a new home for the soon to be vacated White Sox slot at Tucson Electric Park - excellent facilities that are less than 10 years old. There is a clause in the contract of the Dbacks & Rockies that lets them out of staying in Tucson if it is just the two of them, so Tucson is making the full court press.

If the Goodyear deal falls thru - expect this connection to crop up immediately after.

Ugh...again why do we want to head out west? I don't understand this. Colorado and Arizona make sense to be out there, but not Cincy...

RBA
03-24-2008, 11:47 AM
Ugh...again why do we want to head out west? I don't understand this. Colorado and Arizona make sense to be out there, but not Cincy...


Because AZ is giving the Reds the best deal.

Unassisted
03-24-2008, 11:49 AM
Because AZ is giving the Reds the best deal.And $10 million that the Reds contribute to a new stadium in Sarasota is $10 million that they don't have to spend on players.

westofyou
03-24-2008, 11:53 AM
Because AZ is giving the Reds the best deal.
Again.. this is the part that continues to elude most.

Business has been run shoddy by the Reds for years, that should not be the club tradition.

Nothing wrong with making some money.

REDREAD
03-24-2008, 12:58 PM
Ugh...again why do we want to head out west? I don't understand this. Colorado and Arizona make sense to be out there, but not Cincy...

John Allen is in charge of this.. so it's all about the $$$ a city is willing to pony up. He'd move the team to the South Pole if he got enough cash.

Reds/Flyers Fan
03-24-2008, 02:36 PM
The Reds should stay in Florida. Arizona never has made much sense. Cincinnati-area tourists may decide to catch a Reds game if it happens to be convenient during their Florida spring vacation. But how many actually go down just for baseball? I think the draw of southwest Florida is the beach, fishing, golf, the ocean, Orlando is nearby, and the relative closeness to Cincinnati, not seeing the Reds and Pirates play for the 10th time.

Goodyear officials are living in a dreamworld if they think they're going to see hundreds of Ohio license plates descend on their town in March with the Reds - or Indians for that matter. What else is there to do in Phoenix? Catch a Coyotes playoff game? Yea right.

RBA
03-31-2008, 12:42 PM
Listening to WLW right now. Tracey Jones is badmouthing Arizona. Looks like Goodyear council is meeting today to vote on funding.

JaxRed
03-31-2008, 12:46 PM
Thought the vote was the 7th?

RBA
03-31-2008, 12:49 PM
Thought the vote was the 7th?


Maybe not a vote. But some type of meeting is happening today.

fearofpopvol1
03-31-2008, 01:27 PM
Could a scenario exist where Goodyear votes no and Sarasota then decides they're no longer interested leaving the Reds in a bad position?

JaxRed
03-31-2008, 02:42 PM
Yes, but very, very unlikely. there are 2 places in Florida looking for teams. Sarasota and Vero Beach. If Goodyear says no, and somehow Orioles grabbed Sarasota, Reds could go to Vero.

flyer85
03-31-2008, 02:45 PM
Marty brought up the other day that the White Sox want out of their lease to move alongside the Dodgers in Glendale(??). Which means there is a potential opening if the Sox can't get out of their lease ... or if they can.

Reds have a bunch of options at this point.

Yachtzee
03-31-2008, 07:23 PM
Well, Cuba's allowing people to have cell phones and stay at tourist hotels, so maybe that's a sign in thawing political climate there. If so, Havana might be an option.

Chip R
03-31-2008, 11:13 PM
Well, Cuba's allowing people to have cell phones and stay at tourist hotels, so maybe that's a sign in thawing political climate there. If so, Havana might be an option.


I don't see why they wouldn't welcome the Reds with open arms.

Raisor
04-01-2008, 12:18 AM
The Reds held spring training during WWII in Muncie. It's time to return! They can get ready for the season playing against the Ball State team! After practice, they can hang out at the Damon's sports bar for some kicking wings.

Plus Muncie=college town=college girls

westofyou
04-01-2008, 12:29 AM
The Reds held spring training during WWII in Muncie. It's time to return! They can get ready for the season playing against the Ball State team! After practice, they can hang out at the Damon's sports bar for some kicking wings.

Plus Muncie=college town=college girls

That was due that rule about level of travel on the rails... hence the infamous Limestone league.

George Anderson
04-01-2008, 12:51 AM
The Reds held spring training during WWII in Muncie. It's time to return! They can get ready for the season playing against the Ball State team! After practice, they can hang out at the Damon's sports bar for some kicking wings.

Plus Muncie=college town=college girls

Ball State has a pretty good baseball program.

They have had 30 players drafted since 99'.

Pretty respectable for a smaller, lesser known program not in a sunshine state.