It looks like Arizona State won't be sharing the Cubs' new spring training facility after all.
After more than a year of negotiations with the Cubs and the city of Mesa, ASU announced Thursday that it is officially ending conversations and "moving forward with pursing other options for our baseball program," according to a release.
"ASU negotiated the original agreement in good faith," the school's release said. "However, the changes the Cubs demanded shows that they do not value the partnership with ASU, thus making a deal impossible."
Arizona State had previously entered a letter of agreement to play in the new Mesa ballpark, and it was approved by the Arizona Board of Regents. But that was not the same as reaching a formal partnership deal.
"The university approached the talks enthusiastically and readily accepted the deal as originally outlined," the school said in its statement. "But as the new Cubs management changed the original deal points and added new issues to the negotiation, the new terms became far too costly to the university, imposed too many restrictions on ASU's use of the facility and exposed the university to too great a level of financial liability for the entire complex."
So, assuming this isn't just posturing (and the Sun Devils certainly sound as though they've moved on), Arizona State will explore other stadium options, but the school reportedly lacks the funds to replace or renovate aging Packard Stadium. The Phoenix Business Journal reported a month ago that Phoenix Municipal Stadium could be an option of the Mesa deal fell apart. The stadium is currently the spring training home of the Athletics, who could move into Hohokam Stadium when the Cubs vacate that facility to move into their new $99 million ballpark.
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