The Reds came away impressed from a field trip to Goodyear, Ariz.
"It was great," said former chief operating officer John Allen, who is heading the search for a new spring home. "It was very informative. They have a good plan."
The city of Goodyear is looking for a team to share its new complex with the Cleveland Indians.
The teams would share the 8,500-seat stadium but have separate practice fields, clubhouses and offices.
The Reds group, including CEO Bob Castellini, also visited the Surprise, Ariz., facility shared by the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals.
"We wanted to see how a two-team operation works," Allen said. "Basically, you have a game at the stadium every day."
The Indians move into the Goodyear facility in 2009. A second team wouldn't move in until 2010 at the earliest.
The Reds have the option to remain in their current facility in Sarasota until 2011.
The Reds and Goodyear officials did not talk specifics of a deal. "We'll take a few days to digest it," Allen said.
Elsewhere, a plan to keep the Reds in Sarasota is in play. A $41 million plan to rebuild the Ed Smith Stadium complex will be presented to the Sarasota city and county commissions Tuesday. Then they'll vote whether to move forward.
Another wrinkle: The Fort Myers News-Press reported Thursday on its Web site that a Reds official contacted a Lee County official Thursday about relocating there. The News-Press reported the conversation was informal and no details were discussed. Lee County is looking to add a third team. It already hosts the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins.
The new Sarasota plan calls for the Reds to contribute $9 million to the project.
Would Goodyear require that kind of financial outlay?
"It's a different economic situation," Allen said. "We didn't get into specifics."
But is Goodyear a better situation economically?
"Yes," Allen said.
If the Sarasota plan moves forward, the Reds will have to weigh the economic benefit against moving their spring home farther from Cincinnati.
"I've gotten a lot of e-mails," Allen said. "It's been a mixed bag."
Something tells me Bob and John didnt pile the family into the SUV and drive out there.