11/4 Ricketts to tour Mesa sites
The Ricketts family was to tour Mesa, Ariz., on Wednesday by helicopter to look at potential sites along the Loop 202 freeway for the Cubs’ Spring Training home. Last month, new Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts was in Collier County, Fla., to do the same, looking at three sites near Naples.
The Cubs want 120 contiguous acres where they can build a 15,000-seat stadium, have at least six practice fields, and upgraded facilities for player development. The team has outgrown its current site in Mesa.
On Tuesday night, Arizona officials delivered their sales pitch to the Ricketts family at a dinner at the Red Mountain Ranch Country Club. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer attended, and the session included a video message from Sen. John McCain, who wished the Cubs a World Series victory, according to the East Valley Tribune.
“Please stay with us,” McCain said.
Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill, who is president of the Phoenix Greater Economic Council, also made a presentation.
“We’re really committed to make sure we can address all your issues,” Bidwill said.
The Cubs’ contract with Mesa and HoHoKam Stadium allows the team to buy out of the deal after 2012. The team has practiced in Mesa since the 1950s, and called its current site home since 1979. The Cubs are the top draw in the Cactus League, and a recent survey showed they provide $52 million to the state’s economy.
– Carrie Muskat