$125M complex pitched at Tangerine, I-10 - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

$125M complex pitched at Tangerine, I-10

Marana mayor supports plan to save spring training

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Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 11:00 pm

If the Pima County Sports and Tourism Authority has its way, Marana may get a baseball complex befitting the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks.

The authority recently submitted a proposal for a $125-million stadium complex to the Diamondbacks in an effort to get the teams to stick with Tucson for spring training.

Marana Mayor Ed Honea said he approves of the proposal.

“The whole package would fit together pretty well, because it would benefit the entire community,” he said, adding that spring training spectators would spend money not just in Marana, but all over Pima County as well.

The proposal puts the three-team stadium complex at Tangerine Road and Interstate 10. The location would cut travel time to and from Phoenix and would give visitors easy access to Marana’s future Ritz Carlton Resort, officials suggest.

The stadium would face mountains, Honea said, which would mean shade for spectators.

“Hi Corbett is in the sun, which is one of its problems,” Honea said. “You need shade for fans.”

Honea said the developer of the property at Tangerine Road and I-10 has talked about building amenities supportive of the complex, such as hotels.

“The stadium complex ends up being a catalyst for other improvements,” Honea said.

According to the authority’s proposal, the Rockies, the Diamondbacks and a third Major League Baseball team would play 10 games in Marana and five games at Hi Corbett Field, which would be renovated to the tune of $15 million.

Funding for the project, contingent on Pima County voters’ approval, would come from a tax on tourism-related industries, including hotels, car rentals, restaurants, bars and shops.

The Pima County Sports and Tourism Authority was created in 2008 by the Pima County Board of Supervisors and approved by the state Legislature to develop plans to keep the Arizona Diamondbacks and spring training in Tucson.

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