Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Breaking Sox News

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What Jerry wants, Jerry gets.
White Sox board chairman Jerry Reinsdorf spent the last two years doing what he could to get his team's spring training site moved from Tucson to what he felt was a more Chicago fan-friendly local in the Phoenix area, and on Tuesday it became official.
With the approval by the Pima County Supervisors, the Sox will now be allowed to immediately move up to the new facility in Glendale - just northwest of the Phoenix metropolitan area - which will be shared with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Sox had been in Tucson since 1998, after making the move there from Sarasota, Fla.
"We are very pleased to be moving to our new facility in Glendale in 2009, and we are excited to start a long and successful partnership with the Dodgers and the city,'' Reinsdorf said in a release. "The city of Glendale has done a tremendous job of creating a state-of-the-art spring training facility for the Dodgers and White Sox. Glendale has become a first-class, year-round sports destination that our fans will thoroughly enjoy."
The move didn't come without a price, however.
The club not only had to make a $5 million offer to break their lease, but sell the board on the idea that making their side of the current facility - shared with the Diamondbacks - into a youth baseball academy would be more profitable.
An independent company was hired to research that transition, swaying Pima County by showing that a change was indeed more financially beneficial. But they will still try and entice another Major League team to move into the Sox' facility, before exploring that route.
"With fans from Chicago wanting to see the White Sox, and fans from Los Angeles able to drive over to see the Dodgers, we believe Glendale will quickly become the most popular spring training site in the Cactus League," Reinsdorf continued. "A large number of former Chicagoans now call the Valley home, and others spend the winter in the Phoenix area. Those fans will have the opportunity to enjoy White Sox baseball on a daily basis each spring.''
As far as the new $80-million facility in Glendale, it has 10,000 fixed seats and capacity for an additional 3,000 people on the outfield lawn, as well as boasting more than 118,000 square feet of major and minor league clubhouse space, four major league practice fields, eight minor league practice fields and two practice infields.
That didn't ease the bad feelings coming from the place the Sox will be leaving, with one member of the board saying, "It's a really sad day for baseball, here in Tucson.''

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on November 18, 2008 2:48 PM.

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