12/16 Spring training update

The city of Mesa is rushing to install $750,000 worth of new batting cages at the Cubs’ Fitch Park facility in time for Spring Training. The City Council will consider the bids to build the cages on Thursday. It delayed a vote Monday after councilman Dave Richins objected to how quickly the city was trying to get a deal done, according to the East Valley (Ariz.) Tribune.

City manager Chris Brady said Cubs officials were talking to city about improving the batting cages before the Ricketts family took over the team in late October. The batting cages are not tied to negotiations over the team’s Spring Training plans.

“Hopefully, it continues to demonstrate our ongoing relationship,” Brady told the Tribune.

Meanwhile, Naples, Fla., community leaders gathered Monday night to officially launch “Project Home Run,” which is their bid to lure the Cubs to the Sunshine State. About 70 to 80 people attended a private gathering at the home of Craig Bouchard, vice chairman of Esmark Inc.

“This was the first step towards taking our private transaction into the public forum,” Bouchard told the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press.

Cubs president Crane Kenney said he expects an announcement regarding the team’s future Spring Training headquarters next month.

– Carrie Muskat

2 Comments

I can see it now, typical Cubs move – they sign a long term deal to move to Naples, then in 4 years are looking for a way to get out of the lease, so they can move back to Az (can you say Milton Bradley or Soriano??) Why would any player want to go to FL and ride a bus for a min 2.5 hrs to the nearest game? This would definitely keep the Cubs from being involved in big free agents out on the market. Just look at the teams that moved out of Tuscon….longest ride now is 45 min. Oh yeah and go be the 4th team in FLA when your the #1 draw in AZ…..makes sense to me Mr. Ricketts. Oh but like I said, typical Cubs move…

BOBROSEY IS 100% CORRECT. —CUBS WILL ALWAYS BE NUMBER ONE IN ARIZONA IN FAN SUPPORT AND ATTENDANCE. SOMETIMES I WONDER IF THE RICKETT FOLKS GET IT. WHY MOVE TO FLORIDA AND BE JUST ANOTHER TEAM? ARIZONA HAS BETTER WEATHER AND MUCH LESS TRAVEL BETWEEN TEAMS.IF A 15,000 SEAT PARK IS BUILT FOR THE CUBS ,ALL SEATS WILL BE FILLED.ARIZONA (MESA OR THE NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITY) WILL DO ANYTHING TO KEEP THE CUBS. IF THE CUBS MOVE TO FLORIDA AND WANT TO RETURN TO ARIZONA IT WILL NOT BE AN EASY THING TO DO. MY FATHER USED TO SAY “KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR HAND”.RICKETTS AND KENNEY MUST WANT TO RESIDE IN FLORDIA. I DON’T THINK THEY KNOW HOW MUCH BETTER ARIZONA IS.I REALLY THINK THEY WILL REGRET MOVING TO FLORIDA. WHY IS IT THAT NO TEAM IN 20YRS. HAS MOVED FROM ARIZONA TO FLORIDA. I THINK RICKETTS IS BEING FEED A BILL OF GOODS. WAKE UP BEFORE ITS TOO LATE.THE FIRST TEAM THAT IS IN FLORIDA AND HAS AN EXPIRED LEASE WILL REPLACE THE CUBS ASAP IF THEY MOVE.

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