Arizona State will leave Packard Stadium for the new spring training facility of the Chicago Cubs in Mesa, most likely in 2014. Arizona's Board of Regents approved a 30-year deal that has been in the works for several months.
As the Arizona Republic reported, ASU will lease a 3.2-acre parcel of land for parking, and the Sun Devils will retain parking revenues from their own games. Arizona State will not have to pay rent to the Cubs until they make $1.1 million in revenue from parking, tickets and concessions. Additionally, the Sun Devils will spend about $2 million to build their own clubhouse and practice facilities at the new park.
Former ASU coach Pat Murphy long contended that Packard Stadium, opened in 1974, was dramatically outdated and in need of major renovations, even after ASU spent $1 million on a clubhouse and events plaza in 2004. Partnering with the Cubs allows the Sun Devils to move into a sparkling state-of-the-art facility at minimal expense. Current ASU coach Tim Esmay is not yet commenting on the move.
ASU's move comes two months after Arizona announced it was leaving 44-year-old Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet stadium to move into Hi Corbett Field in 2012. The former spring training home of the Colorado Rockies, Corbett FIeld is currently undergoing a number of upgrades, including renovations to the clubhouses and locker rooms and a new scoreboard/video board.
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