11/2 ASU, Cubs end talks
Talks between Arizona State and the Cubs over the university’s baseball team using the MLB team’s new Spring Training stadium in Mesa, Ariz., apparently have ended. Thomas Lenneberg, assistant media relations director for ASU’s baseball team, told the East Valley Tribune on Thursday that talks are “pretty much over.”
Julian Green, vice president of communications and community affairs for the Cubs, told the newspaper the team was surprised ASU had ended the discussion. Apparently, the university wanted to use the baseball facility for events other than baseball, something the Cubs did not want to have happen. Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said Thursday he told Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts and ASU president Michael Crow that he “no longer would mediate” the talks, according to the Tribune.
A statement on ASU’s website says “the new Cubs management changed the original deal points and added new issues to the negotiation, the new terms became far too costly for the university, imposed too many restrictions on ASU’s use of the facility and exposed the university to too great a level of financial liability for the entire complex.”
ASU was reportedly asked to pay $2 million for its own locker room and a practice field. Green said the Sun Devils would receive nearly $1.1 million every year plus play in a rent-free stadium.
“When you factor the people of Mesa are paying for a $100 million stadium, that’s a small amount to pay when you don’t have to build your own stadium and stand to triple your revenues,” Green said.
Construction is underway for the Cubs new Spring Training facility located along Dobson Road near Loop 202 in west Mesa.
– Carrie Muskat