Chicago Cubs Deal With Mesa Could be Soured by Possible Goldwater Institute Lawsuit

Just when we thought the whole Chicago Cubs spring-training situation was sorted out, the Goldwater Institute has reared its head to rain on the city of Mesa's parade.

While the agreement between Mesa and the Cubbies to keep the lovable losers' spring-training facilities in Mesa is almost a done deal, Goldwater attorneys are concerned that some of the provisions of the deal may violate state prohibitions against government gifts to private entities, as was the case in the City North deal with the city of Phoenix.

Of course, there were a few sweetheart deals; how the hell do you think Mesa got 'em to stay?

Under the deal the team and the city agreed to, the Cubs would buy the land, turn it over to the city to develop as the team sees fit, and the city and county would pay for it partly with funds generated by higher rental car taxes and state-imposed fees on all Cactus League baseball games.

Goldwater attorney Clint Bolick tells the Phoenix Business Journal that the deal seems one-sided, and the Cubs should pony up some more cash. 

"The Cubs might have to put some more skin in the game (insert Michael Scott "that's what she said" comment here)," Bolick says.

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith says he is confident the city is in accordance with state law but plans to meet with Bolick to discuss his concerns. 

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James King
Contact: James King