Friday, July 17, 2009

D-Backs headed to Scottsdale

While Mesa has been out of the running in the D-Backs sweepstakes for awhile, it is important to note that the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community near Scottsdale have been announced as the winners. As part of the deal, they are going to build a $100 million dollar facility near Indian Bend and the 101. With a couple of casinos and other ventures, funding shouldn't be a problem.

Mesa should take note, because this latest announcement may have some implications on their Cubs negotiations. First, it is yet another team getting a brand new facility. Second, the new stadium will be conveniently located off of the freeway. Meanwhile, while Hohokam is neat stadium, it's an older facility and located in the middle of nowhere. Not only that, there is no room to grow or develop, so Mesa isn't taking advantage of all the economic benefits that could be available to them.

If Mesa does move forward with a new facility, it should be conveniently located, and quite frankly, it must be a near a freeway. All of the downtown-proponents will be sad to hear this, but people from out of town don't want to navigate a ton of tiny side streets to get to a stadium.

1 comment:

Heath Reed said...

I agree a new location is needed, but not necessarily a freeway. You want to put it in the best position to draw the most and keep people in Mesa. An experience outside of the game. If next to a freeway, it is just that easy to get to the game as it is to leave and you still have the same problem as before.

For example, the SRPMIC will have things around the stadium to draw fans too before and after. Mesa needs to look at this and work with the cubs and find a third or fourth party to build a sports mix use facility. This goes beyond the stadium, but does not necessarily need to be as big as Westgate City Center, but create a Chicago theme. Maybe little Chicago and get Chicago investors and developers to build stuff around the stadium to give fans a Chicago Arizona feel. Its needs to be a venue that is just more than 2 months of spring ball too. Have to look at potential users and more than just spring and fall league ball. WAC championship is a big thing too.

But I think we agree that the location of Hohokam is not good and is not reaching its full potential. Problem is, how do you move to a new stadium and not use too much of city money with the type of people and laws that forbid the city spending over 1.5mil on a facility like this?