Teams protesting ticket surcharge

Updated: March 3, 2010, 1:25 PM ET
By Bruce Levine | ESPNChicago.com

MESA, Ariz. -- The Chicago White Sox joined a boycott of a Cactus League event as teams protest a proposed surcharge to pay for a new spring training facility for the Chicago Cubs.

The Cactus League Kickoff Luncheon begins every spring training in Arizona, but the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Cincinnati Reds are boycotting with the White Sox, according to the Arizona Republic.

White Sox vice president of communications Scott Reifert said Wednesday that owner Jerry Reinsdorf was called by another owner, and at that point Reinsdorf decided that the White Sox would not attend the event.

Reifert reiterated that the White Sox are against charging any excise tax on their spring training tickets. Arizona legislators have proposed a $2.25 surcharge on all spring training tickets sold in order to pay for the Cubs' new facility at an undetermined site in east Mesa.

"The Dodgers and White Sox simply feel it is wrong to ask fans coming to Camelback Ranch to pay for another team's new stadium with a surcharge on their tickets," Josh Rawitch, the Dodgers vice president of communications, said in an e-mail to the paper.

Reifert added that when the White Sox were training in Tucson, Ariz., from 1998-2007 the team was not even invited to the luncheon.

Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.