Only one big stadium referendum this year, in Mesa, Arizona, where voters decisively approved spending $99 million on a new spring training stadium for the Chicago Cubs:
The city will provide up to $99 million to construct the complex two miles southwest of the Cubs’ current facility at Hohokam Park. Any additional funds and upkeep of the new park will be financed by the Cubs, who plan to develop a shopping and entertainment area near the ballpark. …
Mesa’s funding will come, in large part, from the sale of undeveloped city land.
The referendum actually approves spending “more than $1.5 million” on a Cubs facility, and critics have warned that the final price tag could be higher than $99 million. The Cubs have promised that won’t be the case, but that’s currently a non-binding agreement. And they still haven’t agreed on how much rent they’ll pay yet. All this will presumably be hammered out in future negotiations between the team and the city of Mesa.
Assuming it goes forward, the Cubs say they’ll build a shopping center called “Wrigleyville West,” which according to CSN Chicago will “attempt to recreate the atmosphere surrounding Clark and Addison with shops, bars and restaurants.” Only in the desert. And without all the actual people who live in Wrigleyville. Why does this sound like it should really be in Vegas?