Next stop, Glendale

According to an article in the Arizona Republic, the state's Sports and Tourism Authority has voted to contribute $54 million of the funding to build the spring training ballpark for the Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox. The $80.7 million ballpark, which will have 12,000 permanent seats and 3,000 lawn seats, is scheduled to open in time for spring training in 2009.

According to Republic reporter Carrie Watters, one board member, Rod Williams, voted against the project "because he wanted a written guarantee that the community, such as Little League and college teams, would have access to the ballpark.

"'I can't understand why $80 million is going to these fields and yet we can't get six of those fields (for community use),' Williams said."

According to Watters, Dodgers vice president Howard Sunkin pledged that the team would be "good community stewards."

"'You have our pledge to continue to be a community asset,'" Sunkin said."

The approval of the sports authority is a major milestone, but deal still must be approved by the Phoenix City Council.

The stadium will be built on land in the city of Glendale, in west Phoenix. Glendale has opened two other major facilities in the past five years: the University of Phoenix stadium for the Arizona Cardinals and the Jobing.com Arena for the Phoenix Coyotes.

Since the late 1940s, the Dodgers had used Vero Beach, in Florida, as their spring-training site.

August 16, 2007 10:19 AM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor
 

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