Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Cubs up the ante in Mesa

Now, the Cubs are starting to flex their muscle a bit, claiming that they will leave Mesa if they don't get a facility upgrade (Tribune version here). Their concerns appear to mostly surround the status and quality of their training facility, but they did demand more seating in the stadium as well (its important to note that their stadium that already boasts the most seating in the league).

As we have said before, we must do what it takes to keep the Cubs in Mesa. Needless to say, in this current economy it is bad timing for the Cubs to make demands, but its not at all shocking. What is a bit surprising is their unwillingness to share a facility or a stadium with another team.

We understand that they are a unique franchise, but we also understand that they haven't won a world series in 100 years. I could see the Yankees thinking they have this type of sway, but the Cubs? Please. Besides, if the Yanks or the Red Soxs ever decided to come west, the Cubbies would no longer be the belle of the ball.

However, at this point, they are, and their demands should be treated seriously. Mesa can't be the poster child for being the first city in nearly 20 years to lose a team to Florida. However, Mesa must also be realistic about their current financial situation and must look out for the best of the City.

Spring Training's destiny is in the West, and Mesa must do what it takes within reason to foster this. As we have said before, what about Waveyard? How about some of the newly empty strip malls in the Fiesta District? What about near the new Gaylord site?

1 comment:

Heath Reed said...

First of all, I do not like the way the new ownership is handling this. It really sucks because their stadium always is packed, they had a major upgrade or so ago. Mesa is put in a tuff spot, especially since they are trying to see how they can get the Dbacks here and I think that has something to do with it. Mesa has to keep them here, but I wish there could be a partnership between the city and the cubs. But that won’t happen especially how stupid cities out west have handled new facilities. I also think it should be more than just a facility with more practice fields etc. It needs to be more than just a stadium, but a mix use project that will redevelop a portion that is close to downtown.

The current location in my opinion is not a good location and should be in the long range plans to move the team closer to downtown and a major street.

Here is an example, but not at the scale Mesa should look at. View the renderings.