PDA

View Full Version : Any news on Tucson's future as ST site for Sox?


Viva Medias B's
02-12-2005, 07:43 AM
We have not heard anything on whether the Sox will remain in Tucson beyond this season.

A.T. Money
02-12-2005, 11:22 AM
I heard they were moving up to the Phoenix area. But that was all rumor stuff last year. Phoenix would be nice since it's right where my company headquarters is.

Whitesox029
02-12-2005, 12:13 PM
I have talked about this before and I feel the Sox should move back to Florida. There is only one other team in the Central that trains in Arizona and I think it would be best to be getting a good look at Minnesota, Cleveland and Detroit since they are all probably not going to finish last. Then again, you could look at it the other way around and say that as it is, for example, the Twins will have never seen Gooch hit until their home opener on April 8...

Wanne
02-12-2005, 12:33 PM
I have talked about this before and I feel the Sox should move back to Florida. There is only one other team in the Central that trains in Arizona and I think it would be best to be getting a good look at Minnesota, Cleveland and Detroit since they are all probably not going to finish last. Then again, you could look at it the other way around and say that as it is, for example, the Twins will have never seen Gooch hit until their home opener on April 8...

I doubt there's any way the Sox move back to Florida. Reinsdorf lives in the Valley here...and I know he likes having the Sox train out here as well. They were rumored to move to Diablo at one point before the Angels reupped their agreement. There's really no place open out here right now unless a new site it built...and the last rumored one I heard of was possibly in Goodyear.

havelj
02-12-2005, 12:35 PM
Sox aren't going anywhere other than another location in Arizona. Reinsdorf has a home there and many Sox train in the off-season out west.

In fact, many teams have been and are planning on moving out of Florida for various reasons such as antiquated facilities, too many spring rainouts from wet Florida season and incentives to move to newly constructed facilities in Arizona.

Las Vegas is also trying to attract teams from Florida to relocate their spring training operations there. They can offer tax advantages for building there as well as attracting their fans there to the entertainment capital of the world (plus great golf courses.)

TDog
02-12-2005, 04:05 PM
...In fact, many teams have been and are planning on moving out of Florida for various reasons such as antiquated facilities, too many spring rainouts from wet Florida season and incentives to move to newly constructed facilities in Arizona.

Las Vegas is also trying to attract teams from Florida to relocate their spring training operations there. They can offer tax advantages for building there as well as attracting their fans there to the entertainment capital of the world (plus great golf courses.)

I have heard that the Sox leaving Tucson is contingent upon another term, Cleveland perhaps, taking over their contract. I think the Sox are better off in Tucson. They have a nice facility, and Tucson is the only quality city in Arizona.

Cleveland left Tucson in large part because of inconvenience, when it was the only team training there. Now Tucson has three teams, meaning there are fewer long trips and teams from Phoenix don't have the quick turnaround after the long trip.

The big problem in Arizona is teams having to travel farther to get to games. Most teams train around Phoenix and Tucson to cut down on the long bus rides. Yuma was great for Padres fans because it was less than three hours from San Diego, but other teams' stars often didn't make the long bus ride for exhibition games. When the Kroc family sold, the new owners moved camp to Metro Phoenix. Gene Autry insisted on playing exhibition games in Palm Springs. One year in the 1970s the Angels actually worked out in Holtville, which makes El Centro look like a city. Subsequent ownership has located the Angels in Metro Phoenix.

Yuma, Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City and even Laughlin, Nevada, are closer to Phoenix than Las Vegas, but they are too far from Phoenix to atract spring training. To Las Vegas, you're looking at a visiting team making a six-hour bus ride or jet travel, which isn't included in spring training budgets.

Maybe Las Vegas could offer to pay for other teams to visit. It would probably have to.

Fenway
02-12-2005, 04:20 PM
There have been reports that the Red Sox and Twins are trying to get somebody to take over the former Rangers complex in Port Charlotte.

SouthSideSid
02-12-2005, 06:23 PM
As far as I know Tucson is a great town to drive through.... other than that...not so much. It would be a great move for the Sox to move to the Phoenix/Mesa metroplex - closer access to more teams and a bigger fan base.
Plus, they wouldn't be sharing a facility with Arizona's only World Champion.

Spicoli
02-12-2005, 06:38 PM
They should definitely stay in Arizona. Having been to Spring Training both in Florida and Arizona many times, Arizona is by far the best. The facilities are better (most of the parks have lawn seating) and in the Phoenix area, they are easy to get to. Plus more teams are moving to Arizona.

Wanne
02-12-2005, 07:46 PM
Here's some info JimH thought would be interesting for you guys:

A brief story I just found from the 12/2/04 issues of Tucson Weekly:

************************************************** ******

STUCK SOX
It appears the Chicago White Sox will stick around their Tucson spring training home a little longer than expected. Anaheim Angels owner Arte Moreno, a Rincon High grad, made a surprise move recently to keep his club training at Tempe's Diablo Stadium through 2025.
Moreno had been expected to pull the Angels from Tempe and have them train on the other side of Phoenix at his development land in Goodyear. That city passed $10 million in bonds for a new stadium for the Angels. Ask anyone familiar with Pima County's roughly $40 million spring training complex at Kino Sports Park, and you'll see that $10 million doesn't go far enough.

Moreno and the Angels will get upgrades in Tempe, including four lighted ball fields in 2006.

That will keep the White Sox, spring training tenants along with the Arizona Diamondbacks in Tucson since 1998, playing their spring training games at Tucson Electric Park for awhile. Or at least until owner Jerry Reinsdorf can latch onto another plan that would allow his team to play in front of the bigger flock of Chicago snowbirds in the Phoenix area.

************************************************** *********

My understanding is the White Sox have a lease at Tucson Electric Park through the 2012 spring training season. They have an out clause only if they can find another team to take over the lease.

For the time being, most if not all teams in Florida are pretty happy with their situation and have no intention of leaving for Arizona. Cleveland just signed a 5 year extension in Florida.

Look for the Sox to stay in Tucson for a couple more years until the rumors start resurfacing about a move to Phoenix.

TDog
02-12-2005, 09:52 PM
...Plus, they wouldn't be sharing a facility with Arizona's only World Champion.

Diamondbacks roots aren't terribly deep in Arizona. When the team is losing, many ignore them. Metro Phoenix, a broad swath of concrete, is Cubs county. The Diamondbacks (who train in Tucson for political reasons) could become the most popular team in the Valley again if they win some games, but if the Sox had moved to Tempe, they would be competing for attention in the East Valley with the Cubs.

Wanne
02-12-2005, 10:06 PM
Diamondbacks roots aren't terribly deep in Arizona. When the team is losing, many ignore them. Metro Phoenix, a broad swath of concrete, is Cubs county. The Diamondbacks (who train in Tucson for political reasons) could become the most popular team in the Valley again if they win some games, but if the Sox had moved to Tempe, they would be competing for attention in the East Valley with the Cubs.

I don't think so...cub fans are cub fans...so there's really no competing...they file out to Mesa like lemmings. That is THE BIGGEST pain in the butt park to get in and out of out here! Plenty of Sox fan out here...and plenty that aren't would still go watch them. It's not like really equating it to the regular season, "who gets more coverage by the media in chicago" scenerio. The Sox would do just fine in the valley.

Ya know...I've lived out here for 20 years now...I still am not crazy about it...but I'd take Phoenix over Tucson any friggin day of the week! So much more to do!

Johnny Mostil
02-13-2005, 07:38 AM
For the historically minded, a list of spring training sites since 1900 I found googling:



1901-02 Excelsior Springs,Mo
1903 Mobile,Alabama
1904 Marlin Springs,Texas
1905-06 New Orleans,Louisiana
1907 Mexico City,Mexico
1908 Los Angeles,California
1909-10 San Francisco,California
1911 Mineral Wells,Texas
1912 Waco,Texas
1913-15 Paso Robles,California
1916-19 Mineral Wells,Texas
1920 Waco,Texas
1921 Waxahachie,Texas
1922-23 Seguin,Texas
1924 Winter Haven,Florida
1925-28 Shreveport,Louisiana
1929 Dallas,Texas
1930-32 San Antonio,Texas
1933-42 Pasadena,California
1943-44 French Lick,Indiana
1945 Terre Haute,Indiana
1946-50 Pasadena,California
1951 Pasadena/Palm Springs,California
1952 Pasadena/El Centro,California
1953 El Centro,California
1954-59 Tampa,Florida
1960-97 Sarasota,Florida
1998-present Tucson,Arizona
Does anybody know when exhibition games became such a big part of spring training? Not all these sites look like they might have been close to other teams (unless somebody else trained, say, in Mexico City in 1907). I recall another Chicago team having spring training during the 1920s and 1930s on Catalina Island, once largely owned by the Wrigley family, IIRC. That's another site that, at the time, might not have been very accessible to other teams.

TornLabrum
02-13-2005, 08:51 AM
Does anybody know when exhibition games became such a big part of spring training? Not all these sites look like they might have been close to other teams (unless somebody else trained, say, in Mexico City in 1907). I recall another Chicago team having spring training during the 1920s and 1930s on Catalina Island, once largely owned by the Wrigley family, IIRC. That's another site that, at the time, might not have been very accessible to other teams.

I'm not sure when they started playing exhibition games in spring training camp against other major league clubs. I do know that in the early days, however long those lasted, they used to play a lot of intrasquad games, games against local semi-pro or college teams, etc. Often they would pair up with another major league team after breaking camp and play a series of exhibition games as they headed north.

During WWII the clubs had to train north of the Ohio River. I do know the Sox and Cubs both trained at French Lick part of that time, so they played a lot of games against each other.

michned
02-13-2005, 09:58 AM
Ya know...I've lived out here for 20 years now...I still am not crazy about it...but I'd take Phoenix over Tucson any friggin day of the week! So much more to do!

As much as I wouldn't like it personally, I've got to agree with you. It can only mean better things if the Sox move to the Phoenix area. Easier for more fans to access more of the time.

I think eventually, if the Cactus League attracts more teams the whole Tucson vs. Phoenix thing might not be such an issue. With the explosion of the Casa Grande area and my town, Marana (second fastest growing city in AZ, next to Gilbert), eventually there won't be much of a separation between the two areas. Heck, I can make it to Queen Creek Road from my house in an hour. And Marana has already made overtures to the Dodgers a couple years back about building a complex right off I-10.

Ed

TDog
02-13-2005, 11:48 AM
I'm not sure when teams began playing each other in preseason exhibitions. But I know that before they did, spring training was entirely different. In 1913 when the White Sox went to Paso Robles, it was more than just getting together to work out. The team traveled from Chicago by train and turned the trip into sort of a tour. Someone was selling a program from the tour a few years ago on eBay.

From my own unrelated research, I found that the Yuma, Ariz., chamber of commerce expended $5 to "entertain" the White Sox in 1913. The local newspaper, though, doesn't have any record of whether the Ed Walsh, Ray Schalk, Buick Weaver and company dazzled the town folk with their baseball skills.

One Japanese team trains in the U.S. -- or at least they used to. The Yakult Swallows used to come to Yuma for the month of February to work out.

Johnny Mostil
02-13-2005, 02:09 PM
From my own unrelated research, I found that the Yuma, Ariz., chamber of commerce expended $5 to "entertain" the White Sox in 1913. The local newspaper, though, doesn't have any record of whether the Ed Walsh, Ray Schalk, Buick Weaver and company dazzled the town folk with their baseball skills.

I am more curious than I should be about what $5 in "entertainment" ($91 in 2003 dollars, according to http://www.westegg.com/inflation/) bought in 1913 . . .