Posts Tagged ‘Casa Grande’

9th February
2009
written by JHiggins

Now it’s Casa Grande that’s trying to make a play to woo the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies out of Tucson.

On Feb. 2, the city council there voted unamimously to put a referendum before voters May 19 asking for an approval of 0.9 percent sales tax to build a stadium that would attract the two teams.

“We want to see if the local community has an appetite for Spring Training,” said Mayor Bob Jackson said. “If so, we want to put this financing mechanism in place so that if a team becomes available over the next 10 years we would be in a position where we could begin immediate discussions with them.”

The Chicago White Sox paid Pima County $5 million last year to get out of its deal to use Tucson Electric Park. The team next month will begin Spring Training in Glendale. That has left local officials worried that both the Diamondbacks, who  train at TEP, and the Rockies, who train Hi Corbett Field, will follow the White Sox out of town.

Efforts to attract a third Major League Baseball team to Tucson have been unsuccessful.

So are either the Diamondbacks or Rockies interested in Casa Grande?

A call to Diamondbacks officials went unanswered.

An obviously perturbed Jay Alves, vice president of communications and public relations with the Rockies, didn’t want to talk about it saying it was premature. In fact the Rockies have been more proactive in trying to find alternatives that would allow them to stay in Tucson.

If Casa Grande voters approve of the May 19 measure, the tax would not go into effect or would bonds be sold until the city council approves an agreement with at least one baseball franchise.

Contact reporter Joe Pangburn at jpangburn@azbiz.com or (520) 295-4259.

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