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Cubs unveil proposed Spring Training site

Cubs unveil proposed Spring Training site

CHICAGO -- The Cubs, who have targeted the Riverview park area in Mesa, Ariz., for their new Spring Training site, released drawings on Tuesday of the proposed complex in advance of the November election there.

On Nov. 2, Mesa voters will be asked to approve Proposition 420, which will allow the city to spend up to $84 million for a new Spring Training stadium, practice fields and training facilities for the team. City officials have said they will not spend more than $15 million for related infrastructure. The Cubs will cover any costs above the $84 million.

Besides the stadium and practice site, the Cubs want to create an entertainment and retail complex near the baseball facilities.

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If the measure passes, the Cubs hope to be in their new facility in 2013.

The Cubs feel they've outgrown the current Mesa sites at HoHoKam Park and Fitch Park, and that they are outdated. A study has shown that the team brings in $138 million annually to the Phoenix area.

How will the city pay for the facility? It will begin by tapping into an enterprise fund, which has $60 million. Mesa officials say they will sell large land holdings in Pinal County to replenish the fund. Other sources for money include a hotel bed tax, and taxes from the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority.

The only catch is that a water park, known as Waveyard, also chose the Riverview site in 2007. However, developers have been unable to come up with the financing. The city of Mesa has extended Waveyard's developers deadline to close the deal to July 11, 2011.

Mesa mayor Scott Smith said the Cubs will wait for Waveyard to make a decision regarding the property -- and if the developer comes through, they will then pick another site.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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