Mesa, Oakland As close to finalizing Hohokam Stadium agreement - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Mesa, Oakland As close to finalizing Hohokam Stadium agreement

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Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013 6:00 am | Updated: 7:06 pm, Thu Apr 4, 2013.

Mesa City Council could finalize a plan to bring the Oakland A's to Hohokam Stadium for spring training during its meeting Monday.

During a study session Thursday, the city council heard a report on the facilities use agreement with the Oakland A's. If approved, the A's could start springing training in Mesa in 2015.

The agreement calls for the city to fund the first $15 million in to improvements Fitch Park and Hohokam Stadium. The As and the city would split - 50/50 - the next $5 million in renovations, with the city funding a maximum of $17.5 million. Any renovations over $20 million would be paid by the baseball team.

The city council Monday could also vote to accept $8.2 million authorized by the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority on Feb. 26.

The authority funds projects in a certain order, said Scot Rigby, senior project manager for the Mesa economic development team. There are about three projects ahead of Mesa. Rigby expects the money to be available around 2020.

The city will sell bonds to help pay for renovations on the city facilities. The city's enterprise fund will make payments on those bonds, with that fund being replenished with money received from the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority and the future sale of land the city owns in Pinal County, Rigby said

The agreement also calls for the city to pay utilities, except Internet and phone.

If approved, the Oakland As could move from Phoenix Municipal Stadium after the 2014 spring training season. The team's agreement with Phoenix is up December 2014.

The Chicago Cubs are currently playing their last spring training season at Hohokam Stadium. In the November 2010 general elections, city voters approved Prop, 420, which allows the city to spend up to $99 million to build a new spring training complex for the Cubs. The city broke ground on the new facility at Riverview earlier this year.

Mesa and the Oakland As have been in discussions about the team moving to Hohokam Stadium since late 2011.

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