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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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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Goodyear questions and answers

I've been getting a lot of questions on Goodyear. I checked in with John Allen on some of them:

Where is Goodyear? You go west on I-10 out of Phoenix. "With no traffic, it takes me 20 minutes," Allen said. "With traffic, 30 to 25. Goodyear is right off the highway. The facility is five minutes from the I-10."

When will the Reds start training out there? 2010.

How long is the lease? 20 years with two 5-year options.

What happens to the Reds team in the Florida State League? That hasn't been decided yet. The Reds own the franchise. "That's something we have to address," Allen said. "We've had some preliminary discussions."

What happens to the Reds team in the Gulf Coast League? It will be shifted the Arizona League. The GCL team is a half-season league. They don't even charge admission to games. The games are played on the practice fields. The Reds will retain control of the two of their six fields year-round. Goodyear is free to use the other four fields when the Reds aren't in spring training.

Will the Reds year-round rehab operation be moved to Goodyear? Yes.

Are the Reds going to definitely be in Sarasota in 2009? "I assume so," Allen said. "We have until Aug. 1 to exercise our option. We haven't done so yet. But I can't imagine a scenario where we wouldn't."

When does construction on the Reds portion of the project begin? "Probably sometime this fall," Allen said. Goodyear still has to contract with architects and construction companies to do the project. The thought is the same people who designed and built the Cleveland facility will do for the Reds. "Our baseball operations people are already talking about plans," Allen said. "We'll get started right away."

What are the Reds telling fans who wanted the club to stay in Florida? "You can't fool anybody. Phoenix farther than Sarasota, Fla.," Allen said. "But by the same token we have a lot of fans not only in Arizona but in the Southwestern United States -- displaced Ohioans or whatever. It's 14 or 15 games. We'll probably lose same fans, but we 'll compensate with new fans. It's a neat place. Everything is new. There's a lot of development."

How many times will the Reds play the Indians? Probably four. That's what the Rangers and Royals, who share a facility at Surprise, do.

Will we have many 10 p.m. (Cincinnati time) starts? "I don't know," Allen said. "We haven't gotten into scheduling. There will probably be a sprinkling."


at 4:03 PM Blogger Big Red Smokey said...

Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I've been going to Sarasota for Spring Training games for a long time..prob since they've been there..and I do understand the economics of baseball these days. I also agree this is a great deal for the Reds. I travel to Phoenix on business all the time so I will still see games..but it still just doesn't seem right and it makes me sad.

at 4:48 PM Blogger Joe said...

Business is what it is. I have had the good fortune to be able to see the Reds in Spring training a couple times in the past few years and I hate to think they will no longer be in Sarasota. I'll have to find another team to see while I am there. Business is what business is. I'll probably find a way to AZ to see them for a few days as well.

at 4:52 PM Blogger ben said...

I have been going to Sarasota each year with my buddies to catch the Reds in early action, calling our friends back home and giving our annual spring preview. I'm still going to go to Florida, I'll just have to be a Pirates fan now. Sad really.

at 5:10 PM Blogger Dan H said...

Well so much for our annual drive to Sarasota for Reds ST. Well if we get out to AZ some year,we'll still see sand not the Siesta Beach kind however. Can't blame the Reds on this, Sarasota missed the boat. The Goodyear facility looks to be top notch. You can check the progress of it on the City of Goodyear website Still disappointed with the move however.

at 5:22 PM Blogger BD said...

One correction...the GCL does not play on practice fields. They play on the main stadium field at Ed Smith, at least they have the 3-4 times I've seen them play (first time I saw Jay Bruce play was a GCL game).

at 9:53 PM OpenID wilmonger said...

I am trying to raise my 4 kids as Reds fans, and our annual trip to Siesta Key/ST was a great way to excite them for the season. We can't go to AZ, so I am very dissapointed. S'sota has the $, we want themthere and the owners want them there. Hard to believe it can't be worked out. How do you put a $ value on fans...especially young fans.

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