Citizen Staff Writer
Time may be winding down on the Arizona Diamondbacks’ commitment to continue holding spring training in Tucson.
The Diamondbacks’ lease at Tucson Electric Park expires in 2012. However, the Diamondbacks are already looking ahead if no other teams are brought in to replace the Chicago White Sox, who have left for Glendale.
“It would be great to know if we are going to stay at some point during this spring training,” said D’backs president and CEO Derrick Hall. “That would give us almost a full two years.
“If it’s just going to be the two of us (Colorado Rockies), I can’t see us here in 2011 or ’12 as one of two teams. I think (this spring we’ll decide) if we are going to stay and attract other teams or whether we are going to go somewhere else.
“It is our intent to stay here but we made it clear that we need four teams for it to work.”
A decision this spring would give planners two years to build a ballpark and facilities. The D’backs play at Tucson Electric Park, while the Rockies hold spring training at Hi Corbett Field.
There have been other cities expressing interest in the D’backs, including Casa Grande. Hall refused to identify other cities.
“We have five legitimate locations that I can confirm,” Hall said. “The conversations have been open and frank, and honest. (The Tucson officials) know that we have dealt with groups.
“We do have some great options. We are nowhere close to being to the finish. We still want to see if we can make it work here first.”
Spring training dates for the Diamondbacks and Rockies:
Feb. 25: Opener, D’backs at Rockies, 1:05 p.m., Hi Corbett Field
Feb. 26: White Sox at Rockies, 1:05 p.m., Hi Corbett; D’backs at Indians, 1:05 p.m., Goodyear
Feb. 27: White Sox at D’backs, 1:05 p.m., Tucson Electric Park; Rockies at Angels, 1:05 p.m., Tempe
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