For more than a year talks about a potential partnership between the Chicago Cubs and Arizona State baseball have been on the table, but it now appears any chance of an agreement being reached has come and gone.
Negotiations between the two parties about the possibility of sharing the new stadium being built in Mesa started on a positive note, but took a frustrating turn recently before essentially being declared dead Thursday.
In a statement released by the school’s athletics program, the reasoning behind the change is due to Cubs altering of the original agreement and the addition of new restrictions imposed on the Sun Devils’ usage of the stadium.
“After many months of negotiation, ASU regrets that the effort to have the ASU baseball team play in the new Cubs stadium in Mesa has failed. The university approached the talks enthusiastically and readily accepted the deal as originally outlined. But as the new Cubs management changed the original deal points and added new issues to the negotiation, the new terms became far too costly to the university, imposed too many restrictions on ASU’s use of the facility and exposed the university to too great a level of financial liability for the entire complex. We wish to thank the City of Mesa, in particular, Mayor Scott Smith and his staff for the enormous effort the city made to bring the two sides together. We also want to assure ASU baseball fans that the university will immediately start pursing other stadium options.”
According to Sun Devil Athletics, they entered negotiations with every intent of reaching an agreement. Any issue between the two parties was due to the demands made by the Cubs, which the school felt was not in their best interest, thus making a deal impossible.
The school will now look to move on and “preserve ASU’s baseball legacy” while honoring its fan base and student athletes in a stadium of its own.
The Sun Devils are looking to leave Packard Stadium, which was opened in 1974 and has a seating capacity of 7,875.