ASU, Cubs to meet over new stadium issues
Representatives from Arizona State University and the Chicago Cubs will meet next week to try to iron out their differences over a new stadium that they both want to use, Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said.
Talks between the two sides have been ongoing for almost a year. ASU wants to move its baseball home games from the aging Packard Stadium and share the stadium where the Cubs will play Cactus League games. The stadium is being built near Dobson Road and the Loop 202 freeway.
Smith said the two sides are at odds over some operational issues.
"Who can sell concessions," he said. "When? What can ASU do? What can the Cubs do? Who is going to make the decision related to, for example, concessions? Who is going to make the decision related to when the field is going to be ready? Mainly, it's just really minute operational details that have a huge impact."
Smith went on to say that the issues are "the picky little things that you don't think are big issues until you sit down and try to figure out exactly how it's going to work. They just need to work through some of those details."
Smith thinks the sides can come together.
"I don't think they're very far apart," he said. "There's not a thing that I can see that should be a deal killer."
But in June, ASU President Michael Crowe sent Smith an email accusing the Cubs of being "erratic" and "not people of their word" when it comes to negotiating.
Smith said the City of Mesa is dealing with both the Cubs and ASU.
"We've asked them to step back," he said. "The city is playing a mediator role to try and remind them that this is a deal that neither one of these parties should want to fail. We're hopeful that it'll work out."
Bob McClay, Reporter