While the Chicago Cubs continue to hope for funding assistance to renovate Wrigley Field, funding help to build a new stadium and new training facilities for Spring Training is continuing apace in Mesa, Arizona.
Among the latest newsworthy bits …
- Riverview Park, where the Cubs’ facilities will be going, has been razed, and is ready for upward construction to begin. That construction should start soon, after the Mesa City Council was expected to approve a $23 million contract for those purposes.
- The Cubs and Arizona State remain at odds about their plan to share the new ballpark. It was an idea that, at first blush, seemed like a win-win – the Cubs and Mesa net some money when the stadium isn’t being used, the stadium gets a higher profile, and the Sun Devils get a top of the line new stadium in which to play. But practical concerns arose about what happens when the teams have games on the same day, and who gets to use the practice facilities when. I’d reckon that the money aspect is also a hurdle, as it often is.
- Mesa’s City Council met last week to discuss the impasse, though they wouldn’t comment on what was said or what they plan to do. It’s a fair guess that the leaders will consider their options for applying political pressure to either or both of the Cubs and ASU.
- Mesa Mayor Scott Smith believes a deal will eventually get done. I like the idea the Cubs and ASU sharing the stadium, both because it seems cool, and because it could save the Cubs some money. But it’s no secret that, from Mesa’s perspective, the Cubs are the priority – there aren’t going to be any troubles for the Cubs, however this flap plays out.
- Things appear to remain on track for a 2014 debut for the Cubs, with the goal of having construction completed in December of next year (giving the Cubs and the city some time to work out any kinks before Spring Training begins).