Our View: Mesa is taking its own big league hitters to the Windy City next month to make what they hope will be a winning pitch to keep the Chicago Cubs in the East Valley for spring training. Tthis particular play speaks to just how much Mesa values the Cubs as the premier baseball franchise of the spring Cactus League.
Mesa is taking its own big league hitters to the Windy City next month to make what they hope will be a winning pitch to keep the Chicago Cubs in the East Valley for spring training.
Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, City Manager Chris Brady and House Speaker Kirk Adams, R-Mesa, will lead a crew of city and economic development staff who will personally call on Cubs management to discuss spring training options, Tribune writer Sonu Munshi reported. And the trip will be a doubleheader, as the Mesa team also will recruit Boeing to bring more business to Arizona.
This kind of high-profile trip, which inevitably will involve a visit to the Cubs' Wrigley Field, often is criticized as an expensive travel junket that provides little value for the taxpayers back home. But this particular play speaks to just how much Mesa values the Cubs as the premier baseball franchise of the spring Cactus League. We hope the personal touch provided by face-to-face meetings will underscore the fact that Mesa isn't refusing to throw money into a new spring training stadium because of indifference but out of fiscal necessity.
Mesa does have more options than a couple of months ago. With the Arizona Diamondbacks now committed elsewhere, the Cubs can be the sole focus of the mayor's notion of a new stadium near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport that would be funded by private interests and the Cactus League.
Mesa simply can't afford to skip any opportunity to keep the dialogue going, not with at least two Florida communities competing to steal the Cubs away for that state's Grapefruit League.
Also, Mesa residents shouldn't overlook the potentially huge benefits of convincing a manufacturer such as Boeing to expand its existing operations. Additional high-paying jobs and more diversity in the local economy would count as an economic win on any day.