Brewers Agreement Keeps Team for Three Year Extension

April 2, 2012
The Arizona Republic
Michael Clancy

The Milwaukee Brewers will remain at Maryvale Stadium for at least three more years and possibly longer under an agreement with Phoenix officials.

Pending approval by the Phoenix City Council and the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, the city would add $1.5 million in improvements to the stadium and training complex, at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road.

The Brewers, National League Central Division champions in 2011, have trained in Maryvale since 1998, when the stadium was built.

Deputy City Manager Rick Naimark said the agreement is an extension of the original 15-year deal. The council is scheduled to vote on the matter at its meeting on Tuesday.

“We’ve been working on this for two years, and we are delighted to be there now,” Naimark said. “This is a great deal that speaks for itself.”

Phoenix had feared the Brewers could move after this season, but the agreement would put that off for three years before the team could exercise its escape clause.

Bob Quinn, executive vice president of the team, said he thought the trade-off of the Brewers’ ongoing commitment for the improvements was fair. He said discussions would continue about further improvements and a longer commitment.

“The facility and layout are fine, and our baseball people are happy,” he said. “We need some upgrades in the clubhouse and the weight rooms.”

Naimark said the deal was important for the city, especially the western part.

“Maryvale Stadium is a linchpin for west-side development and improvement,” Naimark said. “The statistics show it has worked. Brewers fans contribute $3 million a year in direct spending.”

Councilman Daniel Valenzuela, who represents the area, said the team also generates $300,000 in taxes.

“The stadium and the Brewers are points of pride for the area,” he said. “I am thrilled that they have not played their last game in Maryvale.”

Maryvale finished 13th out of 15 teams in attendance last year. This year, attendance is higher, and the Brewers are ninth, according to Cactus League statistics. It would be the first year in the past five in which attendance has grown.