3/27 Selig: No "Cubs tax"

MLB commissioner Bud Selig said Saturday his office has stepped in to determine a way to finance the Cubs’ new Spring Training facility and avoid implementing a ticket surcharge to Cactus League games.

The commissioner was at HoHoKam Park to watch the Cubs play the San Diego Padres. He said John McHale, executive vice president, administration and chief information officer for Major League Baseball, is working full-time on the matter.

“[We're trying to] find the best economic solution and we’ll go talk to everybody,” Selig said. “It is in our hands, it’s completely in our hands. We’re going to have to find a solution that we accept and if it involves a municipality, we’ll talk to them. We’re looking for the economic solution.”

On March 18, the Arizona House of Representatives approved a Spring Training ticket surcharge plan designed to generate more than $100 million for improvements to facilities across the Valley over the next 30 years. Arizona Republican Rep. John McComish had pushed the surcharge in House Bill 2736 despite opposition from other Cactus League teams. That bill is now dormant in the Arizona Legislature.

“To tax everybody for somebody is a dangerous precedent,” Selig said. “That could be dangerous not only to Spring Training but at the Major League level. There are economic solutions to everything and we have to be smart about it. We’re working on a couple things now and I’m satisfied we’ll work it out.”

– Carrie Muskat

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