CINCINNATI - The Cincinnati Reds and the City of Goodyear, Arizona have finalized the terms on a binding use agreement that paves the way for the team to move its spring training facilities there in 2010. The agreement includes a 20-year lease and two five-year team options.
Goodyear City Council approved the agreement at tonight's meeting. The ground breaking for the Reds' portion of the facilities they will share with the Cleveland Indians tentatively is scheduled for this fall.
"The proposed facilities in Goodyear are going to be some of the best in baseball," said Reds President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Castellini. "We look forward to a working relationship with the city that will help our team prepare for the start of the Major League season every year."
On January 30, the Reds and the City of Goodyear entered into a 75-day, exclusivity period to negotiate an agreement. On March 12, Goodyear City Council announced it had identified the funding for the project. On April 7, Goodyear City Council unanimously approved the memorandum of understanding that led to the binding use agreement.
The Reds' current lease at the City of Sarasota Sports Complex in Sarasota, Florida expires in October, though the team could remain there through 2011 by exercising three one-year options.
The club, which has trained in Sarasota since 1998, already has exercised the option for Spring 2009. The Reds' plans for their portion of the $108 million Goodyear Ballpark and Recreational Sports Complex include a 40,700-square foot clubhouse, six full practice fields and two half fields.
The Indians' instructional league team will move to Goodyear this fall, while their first Major League camp will be held in the new facility in February 2009.
The main ballpark will seat 10,000 fans, including 500 premium box seats, 8,000 fixed seats and space for 2,000 spectators on a grassy berm in the outfield. It will be the centerpiece of Ballpark Village, a $1 billion mixed-use development featuring offices, shops, restaurants, housing, hotels and a conference center.
Goodyear is located 20 minutes west of downtown Phoenix. In 2007, nine Major League teams trained in the greater Phoenix area and three trained in Tucson. In addition to the Indians, next year the Los Angeles Dodgers are scheduled to move their spring training headquarters to Arizona.