Don't say I didn't warn you. It looks like the Cubs are backing down from the opposition put in place by a couple of teams that disagreed with the proposed eight percent increase in all Cactus League ticket sales. According to Phoenix Business Journal, the Cubs think they can get the funding elsewhere:
But Cubs President Crane Kenney said Thursday that the team does not need the tax to help finance the new stadium. Kenney said the team could finance the stadium through a $1 increase to Maricopa County’s rental car tax, bonding and spending increases to be voted on by Mesa voters.
So where exactly will that money come from?
Alternative funding plans for the Cubs stadium and other Cactus League ballparks include creating special tax districts to help finance stadiums or new taxes on restaurants and satellite television services. Mesa lobbyists Scott Butler and John MacDonald argue those funding mechanisms don’t have support at the Legislature or wouldn’t create enough revenue. Most of the other ideas, they say, have come from lobbyist John Kaites, who represents the White Sox and Seattle Mariners.
So instead of taxing people that actually go to see baseball games, most of whom are tourists, they think they are going to tax the citizens of Arizona?
Yeah, fucking right!
It's been said before, and it looks like it needs to be said again. The Cubs are the number one draw in the Cactus league. They pull in 20% of all the attendance, set league attendance records each year, and yes, bring fans to other ballparks. This past Sunday, the Idiots headed out to Tempe Diablo Stadium to see the Cubs play the Angels. The place was bursting at the seams. You can't tell me they didn't oversell that stadium and that if it was any other team it wouldn't have been half empty.
And then you got Bud Selig sticking his big ass ears in the ring.
"We need to find a solution," said Selig, who visited Scottsdale Stadium during the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants.
"We have people working on it. I think we've made some progress. It's a difficult situation. Certainly, everybody wants the Cubs to stay here, including the Cubs."
As Wrigleyville23 has pointed out, Selig's interest is more involved with the Brewers than it is with pleasing the other owners. The Brewers play in a run-down park as well, and their contract expires in 2012, just like the Cubs. If the Cubs do stay in Mesa, the probability of the Brewers moving to Florida is a good one, as Bud's former team will look to get the backlash of freebies that Naples or another Florida city had lined up for the Cubs.
At this point, it's a clusterfuck, and god forbid the Cubs actually use some leverage to get a decent stadium built in Mesa. The proposed Cactus League ticket tax was the best way to do this. Sure, some fans will get upset, they complain they already pay $26 to see a couple innings of actual major league talent and they don't want to pay $28. Look, if you're paying for premium seats, that's what you're paying for, not for the talent. We pay for lawn seats and they're just as good, if not more fun.
So instead of pissing off a couple of snow birds, you're going to piss off the entire state? The taxpayers of Arizona WILL NOT vote on any new taxes to pay for the Cubs new stadium.
So grow a pair, Kenney. And if you do hightail it to Florida, don't expect the fans in Arizona to welcome you back when you lose all your Spring Training revenue. Okay, we will welcome you back, but whatever.
Go Cubs, and Happy St. Patty's Day!
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