It was reported last week that the Chicago Cubs had elected to remain in Mesa, Arizona for Spring Training, pending approval by the city of a vast new outlay of cash for facilities. On Monday, the city approved just such an outlay. And on Wednesday, the Cubs announced that they were staying.
“It’s always been our intention to not fix what’s not broken,” Ricketts said, according to the Arizona Republic, citing the team’s 57-year training tenure in Arizona. “We’re looking at what’s best for the team for the next 57 years. We’ve always had a great relationship with Mesa.”
On Monday, the Mesa city council approved a plan to build an $84 million stadium and training facility for the Cubs to keep the team in the area for at least another 25 years. The city and team will now negotiate the details, a process that could take up to a year. At the same time, Arizona lawmakers will work on legislation to finance the deal. cubs.com.
If we take Ricketts’ statement literally, then it has been as we always suspected: the Cubs were merely using the Florida overtures to leverage a new stadium and better facilities from Mesa. Kudos to Ricketts, as it worked.
There are probably some pissed off orange growers, though.