White Sox moving spring training home after $5 million buyout

Updated: November 18, 2008, 8:42 PM ET
Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Pima County's supervisors voted 5-0 on Tuesday to allow the Chicago White Sox to end their spring training contract with the county so they can move immediately to the Phoenix suburb of Glendale.

The White Sox will pay the county $5 million to leave.

The American League team's contract had called for staying at Tucson Electric Park through 2012. Instead, the White Sox will share a new facility in Glendale with the Los Angeles Dodgers starting next spring.

Board president Richard Elias called Tuesday "a really sad day for baseball here in Tucson."

The decision makes it likely that the other two major league clubs that train in Tucson, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, also will bolt under clauses allowing them to leave if there are fewer than three teams in the area.

Derrick Hall, president of the Diamondbacks, said his team would like to keep its spring training operation in Tucson, but hasn't yet made a decision.

"We want to stay in Tucson, but we need four teams to really make it work," he said.

The Diamondbacks will decide in the coming months whether to remain in Tucson. If they don't stay, the team will look for another spring training facility in Phoenix, Hall said.

"Ideally, we would like for it to work in Tucson first," he said.

A call to Rockies spokesman Jay Alves was not immediately returned.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press