The Milwaukee Brewers are in the market for a new Spring Training complex and are hoping to stay in Arizona. The Brewers currently train and play their exhibition games at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix on a year-to-year lease, where they have been since 1998. The complex is in a less-than-desirable part of town, however, and is in danger of becoming obsolete unless upgrades are made to the stadium and practice facilities. The 7,000 seat stadium at Maryvale is the lowest capacity field in the Cactus League. While it is possible to turn Maryvale into the state-of-the-art facility that the Brewers seek, at this point the franchise is seriously considering other options.
Earlier this summer it was reported that the organization was discussing a possible facility with the city of Gilbert, Arizona. Milwaukee was willing to pay $20 mil towards the cost of building a new facility and mixed-use “retail village” but was seeking taxpayer assistance to fund the rest of the $160 mil project. The city commissioned an economic impact study and found that it would cost some $8-$10 mil annually to build and operate the facility while generating only $4 mil in additional revenue for Gilbert. According to Gilbert mayor Jenn Daniels, “the math doesn’t work for Gilbert.”
With Gilbert seeming like an unlikely destination, a new suitor appears to have emerged attempting to lure Milwaukee to Pima County, Arizona. According to the Arizona Daily Star, county officials sent a 17-page report to the Brewers extolling Kino Sports Complex and Kino Stadium, located in Tucson.
The 162-acre facility houses an 11,000 seat field as well as other desirable amenities including accessible parking and four clubhouses. Built in 1998, it was formerly the shared spring home of the White Sox (until 2008) and Diamondbacks (until 2010) before those two teams left for new, separate facilities.
Pima County officials have invited the Brewers executive vice president Bob Quinn to come and tour the facility and see what they’re all about. While Kino Sports Complex wouldn’t be the brand new ballpark that the club was pursuing in Gilbert, it could still be a more desirable situation for the Brewers than the one they are currently in with Maryvale. Plus, in this scenario there wouldn’t be the burden on taxpayers of funding a new ballpark like the proposal in Gilbert.