Friday, April 30, 2010

Arizona Legislature Treating Cubs Like an Immigrant They Don't Want

The Cactus League seems to have taken on a characteristic of their most popular team, as they seem hellbent and determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the battle for the Cubs' Spring Training future.

The East Valley Tribune is reporting that the Arizona State Legislature has been unable to come up with legislation that would be able to pay for the improvements to the Cubs' facilities in Mesa.  And they are quickly running out of time. (h/t @CubsWinInAZ)

"Arizona’s lawmakers have failed to craft legislation needed to keep the Chicago Cubs in Mesa, opening the door for Florida to lure baseball’s most-attended spring training program.

Mesa still has time to work out a deal for a new spring training facility. But with the Legislature ending its session for this year this week, lawmakers will instead scatter across the state to campaign for re-election."

Mesa technically has until July 12 to have a plan for funding in place for the Cubs to approve.  That is more than two months away.  Surely, something of this importance to the Arizona economy would warrant a special session?  Probably not.

"A special session is possible. But the sponsor of a bill to fund the training complex said he’s not counting on that.

“The headlines don’t sound too good, ‘Legislature called back to special session for baseball,’ ” said House Majority Leader John McComish, R-Ahwatukee Foothills."

It's interesting that the Arizona State Legislature is concerned about negative headlines about legislation that is supposed to bolster the economy, but didn't seem concerned about headlines stemming from legislation that encourages racial profiling.

After the "Cubs Tax" failed spectacularly, and no other real viable option has been floated, Mesa's mayor, Scott Smith sounds like he is about ready to hit the panic button and is dialing up the rhetoric.

"Smith urged lawmakers and other baseball teams to help keep the Cubs, saying other teams could follow them to Florida.

'We think it’s sheer lunacy to sit here and allow something as important as the Cactus League to be damaged simply through inaction,' Smith said."

The people involved in the Naples proposal should probably make sure their powerpoint presentation is ready to go.  I don't think the Ricketts ever actually wanted to stay in Mesa, but underestimated the fan reaction to a move.  Now they can say they tried to stay in Mesa, but the Arizona lawmakers couldn't make the financials work.

Stay tuned.


Adam said...

Now would be a good time for anyone who is so inclined to do something unpopular that they can blame on Arizona legislators. If the Cubs can announce a move to Florida now, they can get away with it.

Anonymous said...

the move to naples looks to be inevitable to me.

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