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Goldwater Institute Pans Mesa’s $99M Ballpark Deal with Cubs

Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal writes that the Goldwater Institute is plenty unhappy about the financials worked out between the city of Mesa and Chicago Cubs on a new Cactus League ballpark for the North Siders and Arizona State University.

. . . [The] Phoenix-based Goldwater doesn’t like the Mesa-Cubs deal, and says it may violate the Arizona Constitution’s ban on government financial gifts to businesses.

Goldwater attorney Carrie Ann Sitren said her group would like to see Mesa taxpayers question and challenge the city’s stadium deal with the Cubs, and would encourage a lawsuit on that front. “Taxpayers should be skeptical,” said Sitren. . . .

Sitren said today that the $99 million deal may violate the state’s gift clause because the Cubs are only paying $130,000 each year in rent. She wants the Cubs to guarantee the stadium will economically benefit Mesa to the at least the same amount as the stadium financing.

However, Goldwater has no plans at this time to file its own suit, as it did earlier this year over a bond deal designed to help the Phoenix Coyotes.

Jason Epstein is the president of Southfive Strategies, LLC. He was a public-relations consultant for the Turkish embassy in Washington from 2002 to 2007.


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