Florida interests have withdrawn their offer for a Cubs spring training complex after the Cubs announced today that they would continue to negotiate with the city of Mesa, Arizona for a new spring training complex, despite the passage of a deadline yesterday without an agreement:â†µ
The Cubs declined to give the Naples group exclusive negotiating rights and informed them that they are continuing to work with Mesa to close a deal for construction of a new stadium and spring training complex, said Craig Bouchard, a principle investor in Naples group.â†µ
“For the time being, we have withdrawn our offer,” he said. “The Cubs said, ‘we still need to keep talking to Mesa.’”â†µ
This was confirmed in a statement from Cubs team president Crane Kenney:â†µ
â€œThe Cubs are appreciative of the efforts from the Naples team to provide the club with a first-rate spring training facility. Naples is a world-class city and could undoubtedly provide our organization and fans an exceptional facility and experience. Despite the opportunity that exists in Naples, for the time being we will continue our work in Mesa to build a new spring training facility there.â€â†µ
Regardless of the “for the time being” that’s part of both statements, the Florida “plan” was never more than a pipedream. It wasn’t realistic in location, logistics or financing, and the overwhelming majority of Cubs fans wanted spring training to remain in Arizona. The city of Mesa is now considering new locations for the proposed new complex, including one near downtown Mesa.