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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Allen on Goodyear

Just talked to John Allen about the Goodyear field trip.

It sounds likes the Reds were impressed. Bob Castellini was there for part of the tour.

“It was great,” Allen said. “It was very informative. They have a good plan.”

The group also went to Surprise, where the Rangers and Royals share a facility, to check out how the two-team thing works.

“Basically, you have a game at stadium everyday. The Royals and Rangers play each other four times, so you don’t have to worry about overexposure.”

In Goodyear, the Reds would share the stadium with Indians, but everything else is separate.

Allen said they didn't talk economic specifics. He said the economics of the Goodyear deal would be different than the new Sarasota plan. And you take "different" as more favorable to the Reds.

The earliest a second team would be able to use the Goodyear facility is 2010. The Indians go there starting 2009.

My early line: There's a decent chance the Reds make the move west. If the Sarasota city and county commissions don't vote to move on with the new plan to rebuild Ed Smith Tuesday, the chances of going west skyrocket.


at 9:12 PM Anonymous ken said...

John, Are the talks with Orlando done? Was the plan for the Reds to share with the Braves at disney, or be seperate somewhere else in orlando? What about Vero Beach, not an option? Thanks for your help,


at 9:17 PM Blogger Pat said...

two teams sharing works great. the stadium is in the middle. The reds would have an office and clubhouse on one side, the Indians on the other. Each team would have their own practice fields, batting cages, etc. The padres, mariners, rangers, indians, royals, dodgers, white sox and brewers are all on the west side of town. The a's, angels, giants and cubs are on the east side. The only long drives would be for the dbacks, rockies and possibly one other team to replace the white sox.

at 9:38 PM Anonymous DT-Sampler said...

Ah, this is good news. I willing to guess the Reds out of pocket costs will be a lot less in AZ. They will be shared. And I would think Goodyear will cover at least part of the maintenance expenses unlike that other town.

Aren't the owner's meeting in Scottsdale? The Reds entourage could making another quick trip to Goodyear and seal the deal. Most of the players will probably stay there in the Scottsdale and/or Paradise Valley area.

Moving out West will open the Reds to a whole another fan base. I have fond memories of listening to Dodgers/Reds games late in the evening. They were part of the NL West at one time. Folks in FL can always come up to Cincy for ball game. ;-)

at 9:51 PM Blogger Scott Evans said...

If the Reds move west, there is a good chance I will not renew my season tickets for 2009(already have for 2008). The Reds moving west will really show how much they care about tradition and the fans, zilch. Instead they will continue to take corporate welfare in the form of publicly built stadiums. I can see now in 20+ years when GABP's lease is up and the Reds will again threaten to move the team if we the people don't build them a new stadium.

The proposal in Sarasota was fair and is accessible to Reds fans, not people who are bored staring at cacti and running from scorpions. I'd rather the Reds go back to Plant City than go out west.

at 10:03 PM Blogger RPA said...

i am about 10x as likely to go see the reds in spring training if they play in arizona just because i like arizona about 10x as much as i like florida.

if they actually go to disney with the braves (or anywhere else near orlando) i'll just cross spring training off my list.

i think sharing a stadium with the indians would be great for the reds (and the indians). there's some overlap in the fan base (geographically) and i think it might actually increase the number of folks that make the trip from ohio if they were in the same place.

at 12:10 AM Blogger Scott Evans said...


I think you are right about Orlando compared to Arizona, as Orlando has severe traffic problems.

That said they still should remain in Sarasota which is really the perfect place given the direct flights, which would probably remain even with the loss of the Delta hub. Flights to Goodyear not so much, looking at 4 hours plus layover in Chicago or Memphis if Delta merges.

at 12:25 AM Blogger Chris at Redleg Nation said...

I think Reds fans will revolt if they move to AZ. I only wish they'd done it when I lived in San Diego.

at 4:36 AM Blogger f said...

If delta merges, do you think there will still be direct flights to Sarasota??

at 5:14 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reds players need to be conditioned for the humidity they'll be playing in during the summer. Spring training in Florida allowed for that. Moving to AZ is a bad idea.

at 7:32 AM Anonymous pbnmsu17 said...

Living in Arizona, I already can't see the Reds very often. Only when they play the D'Backs. I've flown to Chicago, Denver, SF,LA, San Diego and Cincinnati to see the Reds. I'm an electrician, and I don't really have the money to make the trips. I can understand fans wanting them to stay in FL, but hey, I've never seem them in spring training. With all due respect to Reds fan all over, if there is a chance for them to come to Arizona, I'M ALL FOR IT.

at 8:26 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any accurate survey would show many times more REDS fans in Florida as there are in AZ. Enough said. In any case, many thanks to John Faye for keeping us up to date on the situations.

at 8:43 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Reds move to AZ I doubt if I will ever go out there to see them unless it becomes a "guy/golf only" trip.

Having a child approaching school age. Family trips will become the norm. Based on what I already know and have been led to understand, there is a lot more for a family with children to do in FL than AZ.

I hope they stay in Sarasota.

at 9:17 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

The spring training site is not going to make or break the fan base, the site has zero to do with weather acclimation (there's little to no humidity in Florida in February and March), and very little has changed over the years for what a team wants from a camp:

The best facilities at the least cost to the team.

The teams don't care whether you will go to spring training or not. They don't make much money (if any) off the 3,000-5,000 at games because that revenue generally goes to the city for building and maintaining the facilities.

The teams don't really care about your proximity or travel woes to spring training. The site is not about you, individually or collectively.

The teams don't care whether you spend a boatload of cash visiting spring training because they never see those taxed monies, either.

What the teams care about is, "what's in it for us?"

I've spent ample time at the Florida and Arizona sites over the years. Arizona is gorgeous, the travel to other teams closer, and the boredom factor after about three days is a 15 on a scale of 10.

To me, spring training is more than just watching exhibition ball games. It's about the entire package of entertainment.

In Florida, you have the beaches, more kids attractions like Disney, better food choices, better entertainment options, and cheaper travel from the East and Midwest.

I just prefer Florida, where the miniature golf courses are also better. Now that is important!

But that's me. The teams don't care what I think. And you would be mistaken to believe they care what you think.

If the Reds can get a sweetheart deal in Arizona like they got in Plant City 20 years ago, see how fast those moving vans pull out.

at 10:13 AM Anonymous mikec said...

Vero Beach has an option agreement in place with the Orioles. So unless that deal falls through Vero is out.

at 10:35 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the kind of move that never would have been thinkable in the past. But this ownership group is so aggressive in chasing down every dollar (witness the whoring out of GABP signage or the sponsor overload at Redsfest, where they were just one sponsor away from a fire code violation) that I think they take the best deal, fans be damned. Baseball has always been a business. Never more so than now in Cincinnati.

John Burroughs
Hyde Park

at 11:04 AM Anonymous western ho! said...

This is very encouraging news. Spring training in Arizona is amazing!

It's time for a change. Embrace it.

at 11:53 AM Anonymous Brian said...

I think the sharing idea is a good one. ESPECIALLY if the reds save some $ that they then use to sign better players (SIGN LIVAN) or sign BP long term! I really care about how many games the reds win next year and in 2009 much more than where they spend spring training.

at 11:57 AM Blogger Al in Ohio said...

Thanks, Mr. Redlegs, for trying to restore some sanity to this conversation. I have to say, I've been a little shocked to see the reactions of some "fans" on here, who say they'll stop following the Reds if they move spring training sites. Truly bizarre. I couldn't help but wonder how many people go to SO many spring games, and spend SO much money, that the Reds would think twice about that in making their decision.

I would think that the opportunity to further a little bit of NL Central rivalry with the Cubs and the Brewers during spring might be attractive, as well as the possibility of both Ohio baseball teams sharing a spring training site.

at 12:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok... I'll become a Reds fan if they will leave humid, rainy, mosquito infested Florida and move to beautiful sunny Arizona.
But not until then.

at 1:09 PM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

Mr. Redlegs is right - you can see all of Phoenix in about 2-3 days, and there ain't a thing to do in that dump unless your into golf or crystal meth.

Florida's a much better family vacation spot.

at 1:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think Arizona is boring then you're not really trying to find anything to do. I go there just about every year to see some games and hang out.

Let's see..Disney or hiking in the Grand Canyon?

at 1:56 PM Blogger Champ Summers said...

As a Florida resident I'd prefer they stay. Humid, rainy and mosquitos describes May to October. Spring is unbeleivable here.

I just spent a week in Phoenix and except for the 4 hour flight it would a great site.

I am with Redlegs Az vs Fl assessment.

at 2:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is with people in Cincinnati and their unbelievble infatuation with tradition and 'keeping things the way they are?'

Arizona is beautiful. There is a ton of stuff to do. Sedona is a 2 hour drive. The Grand Canyon can be seen in a day. The weather is gorgeous, and the growth of the city is amazing. If they move to Goodyear, I'd be there in a heartbeat.

I've been to Sarasota and other than waving at all of the old retirees there's nothing to do there, either.

at 3:11 PM Blogger Dan H said...

From purely selfish reasons- hope they stay in Sarasota or even Ft Myers area. The drive from western New York is about 1250 miles one way to Goodyear it shows about 2300 miles. Driving for me is out. I checked the Flights to Goodyear from Buffalo- not cheap. I just had a friend move to Buckeye,AZ a little west of Goodyear, he loves the area but hates the traffic. Of course he is into the golf and great weather. If they go to Arizona my annual trip for spring training will probably be no more. Might happen once evry few years. The Reds I'm sure will do what is best for them, I really can't blame them. As for Sarasota, if they lose the Reds they will most likely never see a ML team again in Ed Smith.

at 3:24 PM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

yeah, i counted sedona and the grand canyon in the 2-3 days it takes to see the area

at 9:24 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Yeah, the novelty of roadrunners, rattlesnakes and cacti wears off after about three days.

Last time I looked, they had pretty damn good golf in Florida, as well. Although the surprise gator bathing in the condo pool isn't as exciting as it appears.

at 11:58 PM Anonymous Ryan said...

Despite what you may have seen in the movies or television, metro Phoenix (known to those of us who live there as "The Valley of the Sun") is not some dumpy little backwater with a population of 50,000. There's more to it than "cacti, roadrunners and scorpions" (I've lived in Phoenix for five years after moving from Cincinnati and have yet to see either a scorpion or a roadrunner outside of the zoo). There's approximately 4.5 million people living in The Valley, and Spring Training out here is arguably just as big as it is in Florida. And despite what someone said earlier about traffic being better, its not (one of Phoenix's biggest drawbacks: The city grew too fast and the infrastructure couldn't keep up). There's loads of die-hard fans out here, especially for the Cubbies (tickets to spring training games for the Cubs at their home field in Mesa are extremely hard to get), but with it being Arizona, most of the teams playing out here for spring training are from the American and National League western divisions (A's, Angels, Mariners, Rangers, Diamondbacks, Giants, Padres, Rockies, and eventually the Dodgers)

This seems more like a bargaining tool to get Sarasota to bend over backwards to the Reds' demands. I've gone to many Diamondbacks-Reds games during the regular season and hardly ever see anyone besides myself and my family at BOB to support the Reds. Very few people from Central/Southern Ohio move to Arizona, most go to Florida, and the only people you really see out here from Ohio are from Cleveland.

I can't for the life of me imagine more than a handful of Reds fans in the seats at the Goodyear stadium given that most Cincinnatians know parts of Florida better than they do their hometown. You'd get more Cubbie fans at home games in Goodyear than you would Reds fans (if only because, like I mentioned, tickets to home games in Mesa are hard to come by).

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