It now appears that the only thing that could still prevent the Dodgers from holding spring training in Glendale, Ariz., in 2009 is a natural disaster — and unlike hurricane-prone Florida, the Grand Canyon State isn’t exactly synonymous with natural disasters.
I’m out for the next two and a half weeks. Happy Holidays to all, and thanks to every one of you who helped make this blog a success in 2007. I’ll see you in January.
By Tony Jackson
Although it now appears the Dodgers won’t officially know until sometime next month whether their new spring-training facility in Glendale, Ariz., will be ready by 2009 — and although there had been no communication between the team and the city by late Thursday afternoon — there doesn’t seem to be any cause for concern.
Julie Frisoni, communications director for the city of Glendale, said she was reassured once again by construction manager Tom Harrison of the M.A. Mortenson Company that the project remains on schedule.
“He said that based on where they are, there is no reason they can’t open in (the spring of) 2009,” Frisoni said. “Everything is on track to move forward at this pace. … The only thing that could throw it off at this point is weather, a natural disaster or something catastrophic of that nature.”
Although the Dodgers were under the impression there was a contractual deadline of this past Monday for the developer to provide a “guaranteed maximum price,” Frisoni said that deadline was actually for sometime during the week of Dec. 17, not that specific date.
“It wasn’t a hard-and-fast deadline, but the expectation was that the city would receive the GMP from (the developer) at that time,” Frisoni said. “We did receive a preliminary draft document late (Wednesday). We have really just gotten our hands on that and are now starting to go through it line by line and number by number.”
Frisoni said the next step for city officials will be to meet with representatives of the Dodgers and Chicago White Sox, who will share the facility. Those meetings probably will take place shortly after the holidays. After all parties complete a line-item examination of the document and possibly add or eliminate certain elements, the developer, Rick Burton of RightPath Ltd., will come back with a final, binding GMP.
For now, neither the Dodgers nor the White Sox are on the hook for any construction costs. Two-thirds of the project — which is expected to ultimately cost between $80 million and $90 million — is being funded by the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority. Burton and RightPath are expected to fund the rest, partially from revenues generated by retail and restaurant development adjacent to the baseball complex.