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            NEWS

Public Information Office

For Immediate Release:

Thursday, Dec. 21, 2006

Goodyear, AZSTA Approve Conditions To Build Cleveland Indians Spring Training Facility

 

(GOODYEAR, AZ)  The Goodyear City Council and Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority today approved the framework of an agreement to fund a new spring training facility that will return the Cleveland Indians to Arizona and pave the way for the expansion of the Cactus League.

 

The Memorandum of Understanding lays the groundwork for the AZSTA’s final approval of the $74.5 million project, which will serve as the centerpiece of a 240-acre mixed-use commercial development providing local and regional economic benefits, Mayor Jim Cavanaugh said.

 

“Our residents are thrilled to see continued progress being made to bring the Cleveland Indians to Goodyear,” he said. “This ballpark, along with the surrounding mixed-use development, will be a signature sports and recreation destination, not only for Valley residents, but also for tourists from around the country.”

 

Goodyear City Council members voted unanimously this morning in favor of the MOU, in which the AZSTA agrees to commit future revenues to cover up to 50 percent of the cost of the one-team facility. The AZSTA approved the MOU this afternoon.

 

The AZSTA and Goodyear are expected to finalize an intergovernmental agreement in January, which will be the last step to secure the AZSTA funding.

 

Mayor Cavanaugh said that this MOU is another important step toward the opening of the ballpark in time for the 2009 Cactus League season.

 

In March of this year, the City selected Goodyear-based Rose Properties Southwest, LLC, to develop the spring training facility as part of a 240-acre, mixed-used “ballpark village” adjacent to the planned Goodyear City Center. Rose Properties teamed with the landowners, Wood Enterprises, which is a partnership comprised of members of the Wood family, fourth generation farmers in the West Valley. Rose Properties is also working in association with JMI Sports of San Diego, a firm whose principals were instrumental in the development of the Padres’ Petco Park.

 

Developer John Ruggieri, managing director of Rose Properties Southwest, said the ballpark and spring training facilities will be integrated into a mixed-use, urban village that will include office, retail, hotel and possible residential development.

 

“Together with the city, we’ve retained some of the most talented ballpark, retail and entertainment designers in the country to create a dynamic ballpark village that will be the pride of the West Valley,” Ruggieri said.

 

“With the AZSTA’s support, Goodyear’s spring training facility will be unlike any other spring training facility in the valley,” added Erik Judson, principal of JMI Sports. “For the first time a spring training facility will be part of a larger master plan that will act as a catalyst for significant economic development.”

 

The Cleveland Indians will return to the Arizona Cactus League after training in Winter Haven , Fla. The team previously practiced in Tucson from 1947 to 1992. The team plans to use the Goodyear complex as a year-round facility for rehabilitation, teaching and training.

"On behalf of the entire Cleveland Indians organization, we would like to thank the City of Goodyear and the AZSTA for their commitment to this project," said Paul Dolan, president of the American League club. "Today's announcement symbolizes the achievement of two specific goals. We are excited that we have met our needs for a year-round, state-of-the-art training facility and spring training home, and secondly, we did so in a location that will serve the needs of our fans, as well as attract players and coaches to live and work."

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City of Goodyear • 190 N. Litchfield Road • Goodyear AZ 85338 • Phone 623-932-3910 • Toll-Free 1-800-872-1749