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News » Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-11-21

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-11-21

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-11-21
The Diamondbacks pledged to be a state-wide organization when they were formed in 1996, and they demonstrated that by holding spring training in Tucson and putting their Class AAA affiliate there.

Things already have changed, and are likely to change again. The D-backs' top minor league affiliate will move to Reno, Nev., in 2009, and it appears likely that the team will move its spring training facility to the Phoenix area after the White Sox spent $5 million to buy their way out of their lease for the spring facility they share with the D-backs. The White Sox will move to Glendale, Ariz., in 2009.

The D-backs' lease expires in 2012, but team president Derrick Hall said the team already is doing due diligence on property in the Valley, with the Gila River Indian Community one of five possible candidates.

"We're looking at all our options," said Hall, whose team can legally leave Tucson if it is the lone spring training team remaining. Colorado has a lease through 2011.

"We're listening to four or five (Valley developers). They (Tucson officials) know that. It is safe to say we are looking in all directions -- north, south, east and west."

Hall said the D-backs would like to remain in Tucson, "but we've made it clear we want four teams to be there."

As part of the White Sox's buyout, the team agreed to continue to help city officials locate another team for Tucson. Tucson officials told Hall they are trying to lure teams from Florida, or even from other Valley sites.

Hall said the D-Backs would like see positive movement by this time next year.

"We're also in a time crunch," he said, saying that the construction of a new Valley facility could take 18 months to two years. "After 2009, we will have to have a pretty good understanding of where we are going to be" in 2012.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: November 21, 2008

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