Mesa voters essentially gave the Chicago Cubs a blank check on Tuesday, approving a measure that gives the team a boat-load of cash to build a new spring training facility.
Yesterday, voters approved Proposition 420 (we know what you're probably thinking, but the medical weed proposition was Prop 203), which gives the team up to $99 million to build a new ballpark.
"We are very gratified that the citizens of Mesa have voiced their
belief in their community and entrusted us with the responsibility of
moving forward," Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said in a statement. "These
votes will benefit Mesa for many years to come and are integral in our
efforts to Build a Better Mesa."
The terms of the proposition grant the team up to $84 million to design and build the stadium, and sets aside $15 million for things like roads and infrastructure. The Cubs will pay for upkeep of the stadium, which could cost about $2 million annually.
The Cubbies are without a doubt the most popular team in Arizona's Cactus League, and they bring a lot of cash to the city of Mesa. So, keeping them around probably isn't a bad idea (even if they haven't won a World Series in over a century).
The lovable losers have led the Cactus League in attendance for 13 of the last 15 season
"I know all our great fans who have grown to love seeing the Cubs in Mesa are pleased with the result of this vote," team Chairman Tom Ricketts said in a statement. "We look forward to providing these fans and thousands more the best experience in Spring Training for decades to come."
The new stadium is set to be opened in time for the 2013 season.