That ASU Ballpark Sharing Deal Wasn't Very Sweet for the Cubs and Other Bullets

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That ASU Ballpark Sharing Deal Wasn’t Very Sweet for the Cubs and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I ranted about it in the comments last evening, so I won’t do it today here in the intro to the Bullets. I’ll just say that if not for an inexplicable video review in the Penn State/Nebraska game, Michigan would be sitting semi-pretty for a Big Ten Title Game berth right now (assuming they can beat OSU, which is obviously not a fair assumption). As it stands, it ain’t gonna happen, despite Michigan’s two-parts-lucky-one-part-skill Denard-less win over Northwestern yesterday.

  • That proposed deal between the Cubs and Arizona State, which would have had them sharing the new facilities out in Mesa, and which fell apart in the last couple weeks, looks like it really wasn’t much of a deal for the Cubs. Although ASU alleged that the Cubs had unfairly changed the terms, Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said it was ASU that became unreasonable, and a look at some of the disputed deal terms suggests he may have been right – and suggests that the deal was never all that great in the first place for the Cubs. Arizona Central reports, among other things, on the financial details of the plan, which would have worked thusly: “ASU would have kept as much as $1.1 million a year in revenue from concessions, parking and tickets. The Cubs would have kept all ASU-generated revenue between $1.1 million and $1.3 million. If revenues exceeded $1.3 million, ASU would have gotten 75 percent and the Cubs 25 percent of the excess. The Cubs’ total share of ASU revenue was capped at $300,000.” So, in exchange for sharing their facility – and risking the headaches that could come along with that sharing, given the Cubs’ year-round needs – the Cubs would have received, at most, $300,000 per year. That’s a huge amount of money to you and me, but, in terms of the Cubs’ annual budget/expected revenue, it would represent an increase of around 0.1 to 0.15%. It’s not nothing, but it’s not really worth fretting about.
  • One of the “changed terms” about which ASU may have been complaining? Under the original terms of the proposed deal, the Cubs – not Mesa, not ASU – were charged with building a $1.3 million locker room and $850,000 practice field for ASU. In the revised proposal, the funding for those items would come from bonds issued by Mesa, on which ASU would pay the finance charges for the first five years. If that’s why things fell apart, and if that’s why ASU was saying the Cubs unfairly “changed the terms,” then I can’t say much in defense of ASU. That looks pretty, as Smith suggested, unreasonable.
  • Logan Watkins, the Cubs’ Minor League Player of the Year, had to rush out to Arizona to fill in for Javier Baez in the Arizona Fall League, and it’s been a success so far. In his five games out west, he’s hitting .316/.409/.526 (small sample size, and all that). His season, offseason, and future are discussed here. He was a little nervous about picking back up and trying to play immediately after a two-month layoff.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.