Cubs' spring home up for vote
The Chicago Cubs will find out on Tuesday night if their spring home will continue to be in Mesa, Ariz.
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Referendum 420 is on the City of Mesa's voting ballot and asks for a simple yes or no as to whether a proposed new spring training facility for the Cubs will be accepted. The proposal asks voters to approve $84 million in funding and another $15 million for infrastructure for the proposed site. The Cubs will be responsible for all money after that, including the up-keep of the facility itself.
If the vote goes the Cubs' way, a new complex will be built 2 miles southwest of their current spring training home at HoHoKam Stadium and Fitch Park near downtown Mesa. The new facility is expected to be ready in 2013.
If the voters turn down the proposal, the Cubs owners, the Ricketts family, will have to decide whether to ask for a scaled-down version of the plan or seek other Arizona or Florida sites as their future winter base. Naples, Fla., was set to give the Cubs what they wanted, however the Ricketts family chose to negotiate exclusively with Mesa early this year.
During the summer, Naples took its offer off the table.
The Cubs have trained in Mesa from 1952-1965 and then again from 1979 to the present (the Cubs trained in 1966 in Long Beach, Calif., and in Scottsdale, Ariz., from 1967-79).
The debt would be retired by the city selling other land to private parties in the Mesa area.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.