I live in Tucson. I just moved here about three months ago. Recently, I told you that the local minor league team was leaving town.
Now it looks like spring training might be leaving for the sucktastic shores of the Phoenix metro area. The White Sox, the Diamondbacks and the Rockies all play their March games in Tucson.
Here’s why they might leave:
- Goodyear, a Phoenix suburb, is building a stadium for the Cleveland Indians for 2009 and is in talks with the Rockies about the team moving its spring training home there.
- The White Sox have already announced plans to move to Glendale for the 2009 season. BUT, they are contractually obligated to find a replacement team in order to break their lease at Tucson Electric Park, which runs through 2012.
- If the White Sox move to Glendale and spring training in Tucson is reduced to two teams, the Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks can also break their leases.
So you can see how Tucson’s days of spring training baseball may be numbered.
Why does this matter? Because Tucson is a real place with real people and real buildings. This town has culture. I tell people lots of towns have lots of kitschy bars. But Tucson’s bars are kitschy by virtue of the fact that they just haven’t changed anything in the last 50 years. And I think that’s awesome.
The Phoenix suburbs are a monument to all that is soulless in America. They are shoddy modern construction. They are chain restaurants. They are sprawl.
Don’t let Tucson baseball die. If you’re a Tucson resident, write your local elected official. If you’re a Rockies, White Sox or Diamondbacks fan, call or email the team and tell them that Phoenix sucks and you don’t ever want to go there to watch a baseball game.
And if you’re smart, you’ll buy a plane ticket to Tucson right now and come watch baseball in Tucson this spring, while you still can.