A’s, City of Phoenix agree to extend Spring Training lease, improvements

The Arizona Republic is reporting that the City of Phoenix City Council is set to improvement a lease extension for the A’s at Phoenix Municipal Stadium and Papago Park. The lease will run $425,000 per year to the A’s through 2025. They’ll also pay $50,000 per year into a capital improvements account. Most of the improvements would be at the Papago Park training facility, not Muni.

(A’s director of minor league operations Ted) Polakowski said the improvements are needed not so much at the stadium, which will require ongoing maintenance, but at the training facility. The team is outgrowing the current indoor space, he said, and the parking lot is getting tight. The A’s would like additional clubhouse space for its minor-league operations.

Maybe they’ll build Rich Harden a shed where he can stay during his eternal rehab, amirite?

Total cost of the improvements is slated to be in the $8-10 million range. That’s a far cry from the $30 million that Lew Wolff was looking for, and much, much less than the $100 million spent for the Salt River Fields project. From the sound of things, both Wolff and Phoenix were driven by new fiscal realities. Phoenix was willing to help, but it wasn’t going to make major sacrifices to do it. Wolff probably saw how Salt River’s opening sucked the life out of the competing complexes in the Cactus League, and figured that any really expensive improvements to Muni short of a brand new complex would’ve been futile. At least they don’t have to share.

The piece ends on this note:

Robert Johnson, a political consultant who helped in the campaign for the Cubs facility, said Phoenix should jump on the A’s offer.

“It makes a lot of sense,” he said.

The interim agreement contains language allowing either party to pull out of the agreement with two years’ notice, but Harman does not anticipate that becoming an issue.

“The A’s have been a great partner for us,” he said, “and they are committed to staying in Phoenix.”

In Oakland, someone’s ears are burning. BTW, it would cost $10 million just to fix all of the plumbing problems at the Coliseum.

The great news is that just like before, you’ll be able to fly into PHX in the morning, take the free shuttle and then light rail ($3.50 round trip) to Priest Drive and walk right in. It’s so convenient, one reader and frequent commenter here was able to do this and catch a game during a layover a month ago. How’s that for convenient?

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