In April the A’s and the City of Phoenix were set to extend a lease at Municipal Stadium and Papago Park, assuming that the parties could figure out a way to pay for around $10 million in improvements. Unfortunately the deal fell through, which led to discussions with neighboring Mesa, where the Cubs are building a new, $99 million facility on the west side of town to replace HoHoKam Stadium (ballpark) and Fitch Park (training facility). The A’s would move into HoHoKam/Fitch after the Cubs leave in 2014.
It’s terribly unfortunate that the A’s and Phoenix couldn’t come to some kind of agreement. Muni is the most transit-accessible Cactus League facility and it has a ton of parking around it. The Phoenix Zoo is within walking distance, and the views of Papago Park beyond the outfield are excellent. HoHoKam’s best attribute is its size, with a capacity of 12,623 (nearly 4,000 more than Muni). It also has a berm in the outfield, a feature never built into Muni.
By 2016, Valley Metro will extend its light rail line to downtown Mesa, putting it roughly 1.5 miles from HoHoKam. It’s unclear what improvements would be needed or requested by the A’s to move to HoHoKam/Fitch. With the A’s leaving Muni for good, only one Cactus League team will remain within Phoenix city limits, the Milwaukee Brewers (at Maryvale). The Brewers may leave Maryvale at some point because the neighborhood is a bit sketchy. That would leave Phoenix with zero Cactus League sites, which is strange considering how big the city is.