Glendale close to ballpark deal

Carrie Watters, writing in The Arizona Republic, reports that Glendale officials hope to finalize the details of an $80.7 million spring training facility for the Dodgers and White Sox tonight. Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, who is in town as the Dodgers play the Diamondbacks, is expected to attend the meeting.

Dodgers, White Sox to share stadium Included in the plan is a tax-revenue sharing plan with Phoenix because the ballpark is planned on 151 acres of Glendale-owned land in Phoenix at 107th Avenue and Camelback Road. The city has worked for six months on the agreements with both the two clubs and others involved in the project.

Glendale City Manager Ed Beasley told The Republic that the negotiations are worth it because professional sports add amenities for residents and spur job development for the city. Glendale also is home to professional football, hockey and lacrosse.

David Krietor, a deputy city manager in Phoenix, said the deals were one of the most complex he had seen pulled together because of the number of players. "Glendale is really making it happen," he told Watters.

After the Glendale council votes tonight, representitives from Phoenix, the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority and a private developer will finalize the agreements. The when the Dodgers and Sox sign the agreement, the he Cactus League would automatically expand to 14 teams.

The sports authority board will make certain the project is financially secure, and have tentatively agreed to fund up to three-fourths of the project. The Phoenix City Council is expected to take action to rezone the area with a special-use permit that would allow construction to begin.

The Phoenix council probably would some time later work out agreements that detail sharing of tax revenues with Glendale.

The teams will sign lease agreements for nearly 20 years, and would operate and maintain the ballpark. In return, the teams will keep all the revenue generated from tickets, parking and merchandise sold at the stadium, which normally is split with the city.

All this will have to be agreed upon before construction can begin and at least a tentitive opening date set.