Good as gone?
The city of Goodyear announced it has secured the funding to bring the Reds there.
I asked John Allen if that meant the Reds are definitely moving.
"It does not," he said. "We still have to come up with a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding). That's the frame work for the lease agreement. The lawyers are working on that now. Then the city of Goodyear has to sign off on that and approve the financing plan."
That vote is April 7. Both are likely to be approved.
"We've got the funding," Allen said. "Now, we can go forward, but a few things have to happen for the deal to be complete. I'm optimistic. We keep moving forward. But nothing's done till it's done."
The Reds are talking a 20-year lease.
The Reds released this while I was spending almost two hours in the car on my way to Clearwater (I won't miss some thing about Florida):
GOODYEAR, AZ – The city of Goodyear has found a way to fund the estimated $33 million cost of bringing the Cincinnati Reds’ Spring Training operation to its new ballpark, and is moving forward with negotiations with the team.
“We have met the terms of the Exclusivity Agreement with the Reds,” said Interim City Manager Brian Dalke. “The funding sources have been identified. However, in keeping with the terms of our agreement with the Reds, that information will remain confidential while we move forward with negotiations.”
The announcement comes a day before the March 13 deadline for identifying funding, set out in the Exclusivity Agreement signed on Jan. 28 by Goodyear and the Reds.
“The Reds organization is extremely pleased with the financing plan that the city of Goodyear has presented to us,” said John Allen on behalf of the Reds. “We look forward to continuing our discussions and will hopefully complete the agreement in early April.”
If negotiations with the Reds are successful, the team would begin training in Goodyear in 2010. The Reds would join the Cleveland Indians and become Goodyear’s second Ohio-based spring training ball club. The Indians will move their training facilities to Goodyear in time for the 2009 spring training season.
According to the Exclusivity Agreement, Goodyear and the Reds must both refrain from discussing or negotiating for spring training facilities or teams with anyone except each other. The 75-day agreement expires April 11.
Details regarding financing plans and funding sources will not be released during the 75-day negotiation period, Dalke said, adding that discussions with the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority (AZSTA) are continuing.
Quick facts about the Goodyear Ballpark and Recreational Sports Complex:
The $76 million Goodyear Ballpark and Recreational Sports Complex will serve as a year-round training facility for the Cleveland Indians. The practice fields are expected to be completed this summer. The ballpark will be ready for action in February 2009, just in time for Spring Training.
The ballpark and sports complex will be located south of Yuma Road and east of Estrella Parkway. The ballpark will be built on a 3-acre site. The clubhouse and practice fields will be situated on a separate 52-acre site to the south.
The ballpark will seat up to 10,000 fans, including 500 premium box seats, 8,000 fixed seats and space for 1,500 spectators on a grassy berm in the outfield. Goodyear’s ballpark will be the centerpiece of Ballpark Village, a $1 billion mixed-use development featuring offices, shops, restaurants, housing, hotels and a conference center. The ground-level concourse is a key design element for the stadium, linking the ballpark to the nearby businesses.
The Recreational Sports Complex will house a clubhouse and practice fields that will serve as a year-round training facility for the Indians. Goodyear residents will have access to four major practice fields 10 months of the year. The Indians will have exclusive use of the facilities during the two-month Spring Training season. The City of Goodyear will also use the ballpark and field area for special events and seasonal specials throughout the year.
For more information, please visit Goodyear’s website: goodyearaz.gov.