In order to construct a new stadium and new facilities for the Chicago Cubs, to keep the team’s Spring Training in Arizona, the city of Mesa has reached out to the State of Arizona for funding assistance. The State, in turn, has proposed a surcharge on all Cactus League game tickets, a decision which has rubbed some of the other Cactus League teams the wrong way – the most vocal of which have been the Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks. But it seems that basically all the teams are pretty upset.
The proposed ticket surcharge hasn’t been well received. Last Friday, the other 14 Cactus League teams had a conference call to voice opposition of the plan.
“If it’s a choice between this surcharge and the Cubs leaving for Florida, I would gladly put on my work gloves and help them pack up the truck,” one Cactus League team official said.
What the city of Mesa will remind the other teams is that the Cubs drew 251,275 fans to their road Spring Training games in 2009, an average of 13,225 per game. The next-biggest draw was the Red Sox, who drew 208,550 fans total fans and an average of 10,976 to road contests. Muskat Ramblings.
Clearly the other teams don’t believe the Cubs leaving would have the negative impact that the city and State believe it would have. And naturally, relative to each other, the teams are probably right. That is to say, the Cubs staying in Arizona means more to Arizona/Mesa than it does to the other Cactus League participants. The Cubs staying is certainly a good thing for those teams, but they’ve obviously crunched the numbers and believe that the tax will more negatively impact their bottom line than would the Cubs leaving.