One week after authorities in Sarasota, Fla., balked at upgrading their spring training facility, the Cincinnati Reds agreed Monday night to an exclusive, 75-day negotiation window with the city of Goodyear.
The agreement means the Reds are likely to move their spring training base to Arizona as soon as 2010, when they would share a complex with the Cleveland Indians.
With the exception of a few years during World War II, the Reds have trained in Florida since 1923. Voters turned down a tax issue to fund the project last November, and Sarasota County commissioners last week balked at approving $18 million as their share of an upgrade for Ed Smith Stadium.
During the 75-day negotiation period with Goodyear, the Reds aren’t allowed to talk with any other city.