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03/22/12 6:17 PM ET
Brewers downplay reports of move to Scottsdale
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- A top Brewers official downplayed a report that the team "wanted out of Maryvale" to move its Spring Training home to Scottsdale, Ariz., saying the club remained open to all of its options, including staying put at Maryvale Baseball Park. Brewers executive vice president of finance and administration Bob Quinn was responding to a short report on the Arizona Republic's website under the headline, "Brewers moving to Scottsdale?" It said the team was looking at 80 acres of city-owned property in North Scottsdale near Bell Rd. and the Loop 101. According to that report, the Brewers and other private partners would contribute funding to a project just north of Westworld, an equestrian center and special events facility. It was unclear, the newspaper said, whether a second Major League team would join such a venture. "We have received calls from various places, but we are not moving to Scottsdale, we do not have an agreement in place to do that," Quinn said.
Instead, Quinn will continue talking to any municipality with interest, including Scottsdale.The Brewers remain in talks with the City of Phoenix for upgrades to Maryvale Baseball Park, where the team's lease expires next month. The sides are scheduled to meet again next week, and the Brewers have until April 15 to exercise the first of three two-year club options to extend their Maryvale lease. Spring Training business has been booming in Scottsdale, already home to three teams. About eight miles south of the Westworld site sits Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the sparkling new home of the D-backs and Rockies. And about seven miles south of Talking Stick, nestled in Old Town Scottsdale, is Scottsdale Stadium, home of the Giants. Since 1998, the Brewers have trained in a much quieter part of metro Phoenix at 51st Ave. and Indian School Rd. It is a central location since the western expansion of the Cactus League began in Surprise, Ariz., a decade ago, and the Brewers benefit from having their Major League and Minor League facilities on the same property. But Brewers officials have long requested upgrades to the Major League clubhouses and athletic training facilities at Maryvale, which have been rendered outdated by new developments. They also want to expand the office spaces above and the Minor League clubhouse across the parking lot. The Republic reported in September that the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority has $46 million earmarked for renovations at five existing stadiums over the next 10 years, and that the Brewers were "first in line" for $6.7 million for Maryvale. The Sports and Tourism Authority did not return calls from MLB.com last month for a story about the Brewers' expiring lease. The newspaper report linking the Brewers and Scottsdale did not specify whether the Brewers would share a new complex with a second team. All of the developments over the past decade in Arizona are shared, meaning there is a game -- and ticketing and concessions revenue -- every day of the Cactus League season. The Cubs are the exception; they will move into a new complex in Mesa, Ariz., for 2014 Spring Training. Phoenix is in danger of losing Spring Training altogether. The other team currently playing within city limits are the A's, who are in talks to take over HoHoKam Park in Mesa when the Cubs depart.