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Thread: Arizona city reconsiders Reds' spring training move

  1. #1
    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
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    Arizona city reconsiders Reds' spring training move

    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....56684&nav=0RYd
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    CELEBRATION TIME RBA's Avatar
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    Re: Arizona city reconsiders Reds' spring training move

    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 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 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

    "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 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."

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    Member redsrule2500's Avatar
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    Re: Arizona city reconsiders Reds' spring training move

    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.
    redsrule2500
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    Member JaxRed's Avatar
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    Re: Arizona city reconsiders Reds' spring training move

    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.
    The lowest acceptable payroll amount for ownership to show they are not greedy pigs is 15 million more than they are currently paying. No matter what that currently is.

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    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Arizona city reconsiders Reds' spring training move

    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..
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!

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    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Arizona city reconsiders Reds' spring training move

    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.
    /r/reds

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Arizona city reconsiders Reds' spring training move

    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.
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    Re: Arizona city reconsiders Reds' spring training move

    "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.
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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Arizona city reconsiders Reds' spring training move

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post

    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....
    Go Gators!

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    Smells Like Teen Spirit jmcclain19's Avatar
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    Re: Arizona city reconsiders Reds' spring training move

    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.

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    Member redsrule2500's Avatar
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    Re: Arizona city reconsiders Reds' spring training move

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcclain19 View Post
    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...
    redsrule2500
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    Re: Arizona city reconsiders Reds' spring training move

    Quote Originally Posted by redsrule2500 View Post
    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.

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    Re: Arizona city reconsiders Reds' spring training move

    Quote Originally Posted by RBA View Post
    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.
    /r/reds

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    Re: Arizona city reconsiders Reds' spring training move

    Quote Originally Posted by RBA View Post
    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.

  16. #15
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Arizona city reconsiders Reds' spring training move

    Quote Originally Posted by redsrule2500 View Post
    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.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!


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