Mesa OKs Deal to Keep Cubs Spring Training; Florida Governor Charlie Crist Still Talkin' Smack

The Mesa City Council unanimously have agreed on a plan that would keep the Chicago Cubs spring-training facilities in Mesa.

The deal calls for the city to build the Cubbies an $84 million stadium if the team agrees to remain in the desert for another 25 years. That oughta be plenty of time for the Cubs to win their first World Series in over a century -- pfff.

The plan isn't a done deal yet, though. The state Legislature still needs to approve a plan to finance the agreement, Mesa voters need to approve it, and the Cubs brass still need to accept it. Mesa officials, however, don't see these details as a problem.

The terms of the deal give Mesa exclusive negotiating rights with the Cubs, which would mean the team would have to stop discussions with the city of Naples, Florida, something Cubs brass seem reluctant to do.

Despite any reluctance, the Cubs are expected to agree to the deal by the end of the week, but that hasn't stopped Florida Governor Charlie Crist from belittling the City of Mesa -- and Arizona in general.

"Naples sells itself," the Naples Daily News claims Crist said at a press conference. "Where would you rather be, in a desert or right by the water?"

Enough already, Crist. The party's over.

Valley resident Gary Sievers tells KPHO his own pro-Mesa catch phrase, and Crist may want to listen up before knocking the Valley.

"Mesa has the drier heat, Naples causes sweat and sleet. ... Mesa makes Chicago glad. Naples -- one big hanging chad."

Sievers makes an excellent point. If the Cubs were to go to Naples, voters would probably have to approve the deal the same as Mesa voters. That might spell trouble for Naples' bid.

If history tells us anything, the voting process is more of a challenge for Florida voters than the playoffs are for the Cubs over the last 100 years. 

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James King
Contact: James King