The Chicago Cubs and Mesa are meeting this week and next week to ensure that a more legally binding agreement is in place before a July 12 deadline for a new spring training complex.
Attorneys with both sides will spend the next two weeks hammering out details, Mayor Scott Smith said Tuesday.
The city won’t meet a key technical requirement regarding financing by the July deadline, but Smith said work is forging ahead with an alternative approach.
“We have satisfied, in our mind, the requirement,” Smith said.
An agreement between Mesa and the team required the Legislature to approve financing legislation by July 12, but lawmakers failed to do this before adjourning this spring.
The city since decided to sell thousands of acres of land in Pinal County to fund the $84 million project, if necessary. Mesa bought the land in the 1980s for water rights, but later secured other sources of water.
Mesa recently decided to sell the real estate over the next 25 years.
Mesa will push for the Legislature to act next year on funding for spring training complexes across the Valley. But if that falls through, the city will use land sale proceeds as a last resort.
“We have certain financing in place,” Smith said. “We have committed to that financing and we’ve had discussions with the Chicago Cubs and they understand that we now have financing in place.”
The City Council will need to approve whatever deal is reached between the team and Mesa’s staff.
The agreement includes more specific details about things like parking and infrastructure, and will leave few other details left to tackle later.
The agreement will not include site-specific details. The team had narrowed the location to two east Mesa sites but has expanded to additional places across the city.