MESA, AZ - Voters in Mesa have approved funding for construction of a new spring training facility for the Chicago Cubs.
With nearly all the ballots counted Tuesday night, the proposal was leading by 21,000 votes out of 86,000 cast.
The city will provide up to $99 million to construct the complex two miles southwest of the Cubs' current facility at Hohokam Park. Any additional funds and upkeep of the new park will be financed by the Cubs, who plan to develop a shopping and entertainment area near the ballpark.
The Cubs had said a new park was necessary or the team would look elsewhere, either in another Arizona city or in Florida.
The team, which regularly draws the biggest spring training crowds in Arizona, has trained in Mesa since 1979 and had an earlier stint in the city from 1952 to 1965.
Mesa's funding will come, in large part, from the sale of undeveloped city land.
“We are very gratified that the citizens of Mesa have voiced their belief in their community and entrusted us with the responsibility of moving forward," Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said in a written statement. "These votes will benefit Mesa for many years to come and are integral in our efforts to build a better Mesa.”
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