Friday, March 5, 2010

Is the financing plan for the new Spring Training facility in jeopardy?

With spring training having started, you'd think all is well again in Arizona...

But maybe not.

When the Cubs announced last month that they were going to stay in Mesa for spring training, it appeared that the rest of the long process would be merely a formality and the Cubs would have a new spring training facility on the outskirts of Mesa by the 2013 season.

Well, we all know of the bitching that Jerry Reinsdorf has done about the proposed tax/surcharge that would raise money for the Cubs facility. When the Sox owner started protesting this Cubs Tax, other teams, like little children, started to followed along and started protesting as well.

Carrie Muskat reported earlier this week that four teams boycotted at the annual Cactus League breakfast which kicks off the spring training season. The Dodgers, Angels, White Sox and Reds all chose not to send representatives to the event in protest over the facility finance proposal.

Adding the Brewers and Diamondbacks who have also expressed displeasure over the this whole thing, this has become quite a prickly issue. (get it? not funny? oh. well, blah to you!)

With opening day in Mesa yesterday, The Arizona Republic published this story which made it seem like there is some doubt in whether or not the deal will get done. It doesn't go on and flat out say that, but the tone of the story gives off that impression.

Each of these snippets makes you wonder if Florida is actually still in play:

But the financing bill for the new complex ran into trouble even before it was introduced.

But everyone seemed to understand that the Cubs could not have picked a worse time to demand a new spring training complex, with Arizona reeling from the recession.

...the political questions swirling over the Cubs' future in Mesa -- and whether Arizona can somehow pass to bill to finance a new east Mesa training complex demanded by the team -- seemed to cast a long shadow...

Even with the teams protesting the financing plan...I still thought this deal was pretty much done. I was assuming that as spring training started, there would be almost a celebration in the Cubs decision to stay.

Is the Arizona Rupublic just trying to scare people into supporting this? Or is there a legit reason to be concerned?

To any of you Arizona folk...what is going on down there?


In other news,

The Cubs will play the D-Back today at Mesa at 2pm CT. Carlos Zambrano will pitch, with a bunch of guys who probably won't make the team (and Jeff Stevens) pitching as well (not at the same time!). Hopefully Zambrano will look as sharp as Randy Wells and Sean Marshall did yesterday.

I'll try doing a recap in the morning, as I'm working a track meet this afternoon up into late into the I won't be around for much of the game.

Friday! Woohoo!