Mesa Cubs deal: Vote first, ask questions later

Remember that Chicago Cubs spring-training stadium the team is trying to get built in Mesa, Arizona, the one that featured an abortive plan to tax all the other Arizona spring-training teams to pay for it? It’s still alive, with Mesa now talking about using a combination of existing funds, selling off city-owned land, and an increase in the hotel tax to raise $99 million in construction costs.

The hotel tax hike requires voter approval, and in advance of the November 2 referendum, the Goldwater Institute — which has already gone after the proposed Phoenix Coyotes lease concessions — has been raising questions about the plan, last week with an Arizona Republic op-ed noting that the proposition authorizes spending “greater than $1.5 million” without any spending cap, and this week noting that it’s unclear how much the Cubs would provide, beyond “benefits to be determined.”

But, you know, what could possibly go wrong if Mesa voters delivered a blank check before all the ink was dry on the stadium agreement? It’s not like anything like this has ever happened before, right?


6 comments on “Mesa Cubs deal: Vote first, ask questions later

  1. how do the polls look like?? Ricketts and his band of idiots are comming down that way, to threaten and push this thing down voters throats… hope the people of az tell them NO!!!!!!!!!

  2. I live in Mesa. The polls show this monstrosity passing overwhelmingly. Because hey, it’s important for our image, you know, what would a city be without a free stadium to give away? It’s true that there’s no cap on the expenses, so the final tab will probably be more like twice the advertised price. The Cubs will also be back for some subsidies for their retail extravaganza. Oh, and for good measure, they’re turning a nice golf course into a concrete plaza.

  3. …yeah, but hey, it’s “keep the Cubs in Mesa” day… and, you know, this will secure the Cubs future in Mesa… you know, until the next time they need $100-110M in public money to (indirectly) offset the impact of great decisions like paying a left fielder who can’t catch, can’t judge the flight of the ball, and will swing at absolutely anything…

    Just once I’d like to see city councils commission their own economic impact reports on what a month of baseball in February actually brings in terms of new, rather than redirected, investment in their communities. Trusting the economic impact statements which the teams have (thoughtfully) brought along with them might not be in any taxpayer’s best interest.

    Cub fans definitely do travel (and some have winter homes in Mesa & Scottsdale, because they love Chicago so much) to spring training games, but can anyone reasonably claim that even 5,000 out of town fans (which is too big a number) generate enough in additional revenue in one month to pay for both the facility and the infrastructure it uses? Obviously not, or the club would build it as a revenue producer.

    Can this development generate enough to pay for even half of itself? I doubt that either…

  4. The Cubs should go play Spring Training in the ocean… specifically back to Santa Catalina Island, CA. Reading about these Mesa plans makes me sick to my stomach; especially the once-proposed “Cubs Tax”. For a franchise of being a loser of epic proportions, they sure are acting cock of the walk.

  5. The Cubs make more money in a month of spring training for this state then a full season of Dbacks baseball!!! Losing the Cubs would be Crazy, Mesa should be lucky the Cubs are even giving them a opportunity to keep them!!! People in Arizona are some of the most ignorant people in the Country for even being willing to let a monster franchise go! Good Luck Mesa if the Cubs Leave!!!

  6. I am watching this issue from a long ways away, and was wondering if there has been any polling done to see how the vote is likely to turn out.