PHOENIX — Spring training is almost here.
With tens of millions spent on training facilities, some may wonder how Valley cities can make that money back, since the Cactus League is only played a few weeks out of a year.
The City of Peoria houses the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres and is shelling out 40 million dollars in renovations as part of a deal to keep both teams in Peoria for the next 20 years.
“The city knows we are going to lose money on it, [but] we don’t lose that much,” said Peoria’s Director of Communications Bo Larsen. “What it does is that people come here, and] they partake in businesses around here, so we get it back through tax revenue.”
City events, concerts and many other sporting activities are part of the answer, according Larsen.
“That’s the key to making the stadium successful,” Larsen said. “It’s not just a Spring Training location, it’s year-round use.”
Having a stadium by itself is not a moneymaker, but it’s the quality of life that it brings for residents in the Valley, and especially Peoria, that pays off, he said.
Pitchers and catchers report Wednesday for spring training. The Cactus League’s first game is Feb. 26.