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Tucson's swan song?

Posted on: February 11, 2008 12:46 pm
 

Baseball is apparently dying in Tucson. 

Next season, the White Sox are moving operations to Glendale from Tucson Electric Park.  That will leave the Rockies and the Diamondbacks as the only two MLB teams who train in Tucson.  Tucson is roughly two and a half hours southeast of the greater Phoenix area, which is currently the spring home of nine MLB teams in seven venues.  In 2009, the Phoenix area could be host to as many as thirteen teams in nine venues.  The Dodgers will join the White Sox in Glendale and the Indians and Reds may share a facility in Goodyear. 

The teams in Tucson still play all the other Cactus League teams, despite the long commute.  The greater distance means more expenses for the southern teams.  The White Sox might not be the only team to heading north in the near future.  The Arizona Daily Star has a story about possible renovations to Hi Corbett Field that may take place in order to keep the Rockies in Tucson.  The most recent idea calls on the University of Arizona to take charge of the facility and spearhead the $10-20 million renovations.  The problem is that UA already has excellent baseball facilities in Kindall/Sancet Stadium.  Kindall/Sancet is said to be one of the finer parks in the Pac-10, with recent $2 million renovations of its own. 

Tucson benefits from a $30 million economic impact brought on by spring training.  However, this figure will plummet if no team replaces the White Sox at TEP or if the Rockies or Diamondbacks find a more viable spring venue.  This may be the year to take the trek to Tucson, as the future of spring baseball in the Old Pueblo is uncertain.

Comments

Since: Jan 23, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2008 1:59 pm
 

Tucson's swan song?

While it is a sad story if Tuscon loses it's spring training tenants, The Phoenix Metroploitan area has much more amenities to offer fans and players, and from a fan perspective, if I could see all the teams in the cactus league in one area, (although driving from Goodyear to Glendale is a bit of a haul with Phoenix traffic) It would be more appealing to me.  I have had not so great experiences in Tuscon in the past.  If it is the last year for TEP and Hi-Corbett then I'll be sure to make it down there this year while I'm in Phoenix/Scottsdale this March.



Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2008 11:49 am
 

Tucson's swan song?

Apparently a sports authority to the Tucson City Council.  Looks like renovations to Hi Corbett would cost roughly $30 million.  The article also suggests that if the find a replacement team at TEP, the will stay in Tucson and be held to their lease at Hi Corbett.



Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: February 12, 2008 12:11 am
 

Tucson's swan song?

As a Rockies fan, I will miss Hi Corbett if they relocate.  IMO, it is the ultimate cactus league park.  It has a very distinctive southwestern feel that is incredibly fan friendly.  It's also a great venue to get autographs.  Last year I was able to get autographs from , , , , and Walt Weiss to name a few. 

...plus it was shown in the movie Major League!



Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: February 11, 2008 10:36 pm
 

Tucson's swan song?

I hope it's not it's swan song. When I lived in Tucson back in the 60's I have great memories of watching the Cleveland Indians train there. Hi Corbett Field was really the center of community life then. I saw a lot of great players come through there Mantle, Mays, Kaline among others. It really has a rich history going all the way back to when an Arizona state senator (Corbett) talked Bill Veeck the owner of the Indians at the time into training there. I know it has been renovated a few times but it still has that sense of history about it and it would be a shame if this is the final chapter.


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