ASU ends new baseball stadium talks with Cubs, city of Mesa

Rendering courtesy of City of Mesa

The search for the ASU baseball team’s new home has to wait a little longer.

ASU has ended talks with the Chicago Cubs and the city of Mesa after more than a year of negotiations toward building a new ballpark, the athletics department announced Thursday.

“After many months of negotiation, ASU regrets that the effort to have the ASU baseball team play in the new Cubs stadium in Mesa has failed,” the athletics department said in a statement.

According to the statement, the University was willing to accept the original deal that it and the Cubs had outlined, but ASU said the Cubs proposed new terms that the University felt were too restrictive and would create a “financial liability.”

The athletics department has actively been looking to move the ASU baseball team away from the 38-year-old Packard Stadium, as it feels building a new stadium would be easier financially than renovating the Sun Devils’ current home.

In the original plans, approved by the Arizona Board of Regents in September 2011, ASU and the Cubs would share the facility during the collegiate baseball season and spring training, and the University would pay for $2 million of the stadium’s projected costs of approximately $80 million.

The athletics department assured ASU fans in its statement that the University will immediately begin looking for alternate stadium options. This is the first year the ASU team will be able to compete in the postseason since NCAA sanctions were handed down.

Mesa mayor Scott Smith posted his regrets that he could no longer work with ASU President Michael Crow and Cubs chairman Thomas Ricketts to bring the plans forward on his Twitter around noon on Thursday.

“Sorry to inform ASU Pres Crow and Cubs Tom Ricketts that I cannot see a deal (happening) on stadium & won’t continue to mediate. Too bad for all,” Smith posted.

 

Reach the reporter at jnacion@asu.edu