City of Goodyear, Arizona
Public Information Office
For Immediate Release: Feb. 21, 2008
Reds’ CEO visits Phoenix
GOODYEAR, AZ – John Allen, representative for the Cincinnati Reds, visits Phoenix this week.
Allen will be in the Valley on Thursday and Friday. He plans to meet informally with state legislators and Goodyear city officials.
Earlier this year, Florida officials decided against upgrading the Sarasota spring training facility, used by the Reds since 1998. Shortly thereafter, the Reds approached the city of Goodyear regarding the possibility of relocating the team’s spring training operation to the new $75 million Ballpark and Recreation Complex currently under construction.
On January 29, the Reds and Goodyear agreed to a 75-day exclusivity agreement, during which time details of a deal could be explored.
Faced with the prospect of losing the Reds to Arizona, Sarasota County Commissioners met last week and approved $17.6 million for improvements to the Ed Smith Stadium.
Until the 75-day term expires on April 11, however, the Reds can engage in discussions only with Goodyear. The city has until March 13 to show it will be able to finance the deal with the Reds, which is expected to cost about $32 million.
Goodyear has been told that the Reds are not considering Tucson as an option. The three most compelling reasons cited by the Reds are:
- Goodyear’s state-of-the-art sports complex is a better choice than the aging facilities in Tucson.
- After the White Sox leave Tucson, there would only be two remaining teams there. That means the Reds would be in for long bus rides to Phoenix for the majority of Spring Training games.
- Logistical considerations regarding air travel and lodging favor the Phoenix area. Flights between Ohio and Phoenix are direct, frequent and convenient, whereas travel to Tucson is more time-consuming, costly and indirect. Housing for the 230+ team members is readily available, local and affordable in the West Valley.
Officials estimate that $26.3 million in revenue is generated per year by each Spring Training team in the Phoenix area. The benefit is felt statewide in terms of visitors to the Grand Canyon and other attractions, restaurants, lodging and other areas of entertainment, travel and tourism.