The Mesa City Council took steps today to pay off the remaining debt on its two Spring Training facilities — Sloan Park and Hohokam Stadium — ahead of schedule which will save the city millions of dollars in interest payments. With the completion of the sale of City-owned land in Pinal County, City Manager Chris Brady recommended council action that will set aside $54 million to retire the obligation bonds.
“Very few communities can say that they have paid off their stadiums and even fewer in just five years. Now, every dollar generated by Spring Training goes directly to the City,” Mayor John Giles said. “Thank you to the 2010 Mesa City Council who had the foresight to set this innovative plan in motion.”
In April 2013, the City issued $94 million of excise tax revenue obligations to finance the construction of Chicago Cubs Sloan Park and the renovation of Hohokam Stadium, the Spring Training home of the Oakland Athletics. When issuance of the bonds was authorized, revenue from the sale of Pinal County land owned by the City for its now-obsolete water rights was identified as the funding source to repay the obligations.