It didn’t take long for the Chicago Cubs organization to pull the plug on an agreement with their current stadium in Mesa Arizona after falling short in the post season. A new stadium is already underway that will allow fans access to “Wrigley South” from both Alico Road and Bonita Beach Road with plans for a Wrigley South Exit in 2017. The Cubs first practice field will be located on the Florida Gulf Coast campus while the new Coconut Point Stadium is under construction.
After research revealed that over 90 percent of all major league teams that go to the World Series play their spring training baseball in Florida, Cubs president Crane Kenney studied all the factors that go into training a winning team in the spring and passed on his analysis to owner Tom Rickets. “Conditions” are what make SW Florida the perfect place to get ready for the regular season. The “proof is in the pudding” when it comes to training in the humid climate of Florida.
“30 of the last 34 World Series Winners trained in Florida, including 16 of 19 in the last two decades”, according to the Chicago Tribune. For decades, teams have been leaving Florida for Arizona, but in the last few years lawmakers and investors in Florida have tried to lure the Chicago Cubs to Southwest Florida by promising to build a state of the art stadium, surrounded with a commercial district. The effort was so serious that Florida representatives hosted the Cub’s owner Tom Ricketts in Tallahassee.
The odds of the Cubs ever leaving AZ were low to say the least, mostly because Naples, the originally planned location was too far to make away games practical. With the new Coconut Point plan in place, the “away game hurdles” were less of an obstacle.
After proposing this idea to Cub fan friends in the area, they really wanted this proposal to be passed.
Wait ’til next year.
The Island Sand Paper staff has waited patiently for April 1st to fall on a Friday, our publication day, ever since 2011 when it last did and we had some fun with a story about a zipline from Seafarer’s to the beach. We hope you enjoy this year’s expanded coverage of foolish stories. The next time April 1st falls on a Friday is in 2022