Mesa hopeful for deal with MLB’s A’s to take over Hohokam

Pitchers for the Oakland Athletics warm up during a MLB spring training practice at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

By Mike Sakal

East Valley Tribune

The city of Mesa believes it will seal a deal to become the home of its second Cactus League team by the end of this year.

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith announced on Wednesday that the city believes it can reach a deal with the A’s and receive $8 million for a renovations at Hohokam Stadium and the practice fields at nearby Fitch Park, now home to the Chicago Cubs.

Mesa, which has been in ongoing negotiations with the Oakland A’s for a number of months to replace the Chicago Cubs at Hohokam Stadium, who are scheduled to move into their new digs — a $99 million complex at Mesa’s Riverview Park in time for the 2014 season, ends its lease at Phoenix Municipal Stadium after the 2014 spring training season and recently submitted a “wish list” to the city of what it wants in the way of upgrades.

Mesa is posed to receive $8 million from the Arizona Tourism and Sports Authority, pending the completion of a deal with the A’s, owned by Lew Wolff, a hotel real estate magnate who owns The Hyatt Place at Mesa Riverview.

One of those upgrades the A’s are seeking is to actually have a large number of its 12,500 seats removed from Hohokam to open access to other areas of the near 20-year-old park. The goal is to create more amenities and enhance fan experience.

The team also is seeking upgrades in Fitch’s weight rooms and kitchen in the clubhouse.


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