Chicago Cubs Requesting "Wrigleyville" Atmosphere; Decision to Stay in Mesa or Move to Florida Expected by the End of the Week

It's coming down to the wire, and Chicago Cubs President Crane Kenney says a decision on whether the team will keep its spring-training facilities in Mesa or move it to Naples, Florida, will be made "in the very near future.

Kenney met with lawyers and Mesa city officials this morning to discuss two potential sites for the Cubs' spring training facilities in Mesa and told ESPN's Bruce Levine that a decision could be expected by the end of the week.

Naples, however, has three potential sites for the Cubs to consider, and getting a hold of the projected $80 million needed to create what the Cubs want may be easier in Florida -- where the money would come from the County Tourist Development Center -- than in Arizona.

For the Cubs to get what they want, it would take state and county referendums here to come up with the money needed.

Getting the necessary legislation to secure the money would only take 45-90 days in Florida, according to Levine, while in Arizona, securing the same amount of money could take up to six months.

What the Cubbies want is a mini-Wrigley Field in the middle of whatever city they decide on.

The Cubs are expecting 50,000 square feet for a facility that will include a 15,000-18,000-seat stadium, which would be the largest capacity of any spring-training facility. They also want to create a "Wrigleyville," atmosphere, complete with new restaurants, hotels, bars and retail outlets that would create an ambiance similar to that around the iconic Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Check back tomorrow for any new developments.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
James King
Contact: James King